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it is the technology with the best prospects to have a real impact on our carbon emissions, at a low economic cost, and with very real positive effects on overall employment, redevelopment of isolated areas, and security of supply.

This reminded me of a recent New York Times article, In Japan, Rural Economies Wane as Cities Thrive.

I imagined that earthquake-prone Japan would not be a very suitable place for large deployment of wind turbines, but it seems that there is some movement in that direction:

A nonprofit organization called Hokkaido Green Fund has spent the last few years building and running large-scale citizens' windmills, which have also been catching on in Europe. The NPO's first windmill, nicknamed "Hamakaze-chan," started operation in September 2001 in the town of Hamatonbestu, Hokkaido, a location buffeted by constant winds.

In subsequent years, the NPO has constructed and started operating five large-scale windmills in northern Japan with the cooperation of local civic groups. Among the locations are Ajigasawa Town in Aomori Prefecture and Ishikari City in Hokkaido.

In 2006, the NPO plans to build five windmills in four prefectures in the Tohoku region of northeast Japan and in the Kanto region, which encompasses the Tokyo metropolitan area. These include facilities in Asahi City in Chiba Prefecture, Kamisu City in Ibaraki Prefecture, and Akita City in Akita Prefecture.

Trends in Japan: Wind Power Takes Off

Northeastern Japan is indeed one of those areas in Japan which are quickly growing old and depopulated (result of Japan's extremely low birthrate plus perennial tendency of young people to move to major urban areas and never come back.)

Japan seriously needs redevelopment of isolated areas.  But could you go into more how wind energy would help contribute to this?

Eat maguro. Your grandchildren will never know what they missed.

by marco on Fri Dec 7th, 2007 at 08:15:09 PM EST

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