Japan is looking for more alternative energy sources and it is considering at least 21 geothermal projects after the disastrous accident at Fukushima nuclear plant in 2011, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Geothermal plants do not have smoky emissions, but they emit water vapors or condensed steam.
Incentives for clean energy, including above-market rates for power derived from underground sources regardless of plant size, are encouraging the projects, Shinichiro Fukushima, an official in charge of geothermal energy at the ministry, said, according to the international press.
Seven of the 21 possible projects could include the use of small-sized binary turbines, the official said.
Before the accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan had geothermal power projects developed mainly in the Hokkaido and Tohoku regions in northern Japan as well as the southern island of Kyushu, according to Fukushima.
“Even very small projects are now worth the cost with the introduction of feed-in tariffs,” he added.
At the moment, Japan has 17 geothermal plants that are working with a total capacity of 520 megawatts. The 21 projects are still being researched and the officials are conducting studies to determine their capacity.