Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wind power in Japan post-tsunami

Shortly after the catastrophic earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan, I spoke with a friend in Tokyo, who thankfully was relatively unscathed, very much like the wind turbines in Japan which survived the earthquake and tsunami and are currently being utilized to boost power output to make up for energy shortages throughout the country. According to Yoshinori Ueda, leader of the International Committee of the Japan Wind Power Association, not a single member of the organization reported damage to its wind turbines during the earthquake and tsunami. Incredibly, my friend in Tokyo, who also works at one of the largest wind farm developers in Japan, had already heard that all of their wind turbines in Japan had survived the earthquake and tsunami.

Some wind turbines stopped temporarily due to an overall grid failure. However, most turbines remained fully operational, including Kamisu, a semi-offshore wind farm located approximately 300 kilometres from the epicenter of the earthquake.

That incredible stability led to publicly-traded, Japan Wind Development Co.'s share price gaining nearly 20% after the earthquake and tsunami. The market was clearly impressed by the technology in the face of such a destructive force of nature.

I anticipate that as a result of the proven stability of the Japanese wind farms and the continuing problems at Fukushima, in addition to Japan, wind farm development will likely increase in relatively wealthy but earthquake-prone countries such as Mexico, Turkey, Indonesia and the Philippines.

There is already talk about a feed-in-tariff in Japan and a number of developers have built and are working on projects in Mexico. Progressive developers seeking new opportunities will want to start acquiring sites for development in Turkey, Indonesia and the Philippines to get ahead of their competitors and capitalize on procurement processes in the future.

1 comment:

  1. You may be eligible for a new government sponsored solar rebate program.
    Click here to discover if you qualify now!