“Smart city” projects catch on in Japan

7 years ago by in Featured, Technology

The concept of energy-efficient “smart cities” is flourishing in Japan since last year’s natural disasters that triggered a nuclear crisis and Japanese authorities have selected eight “smart city” projects as candidates to receive subsidies through 2016.

The pioneer projects are located in Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate prefectures and were selected from about 50 initiatives. The government has put aside Y8 billion for such subsidies.

The projects aim at achieving optimal energy use through the use of clean energy sources, including those for Tohoku factories of major manufacturers such as Toyota Motor Corp. and Nippon Steel Corp. as well as local seafood processing companies.

An example of company that is developing “smart city” solutions is Mitsui Fudosan, which is preparing a program to comprehensively control energy consumption by adopting “smart grid” advanced power delivery systems by 2014.

For efficient energy management, the company will install in 2,500 households “smart meters,” which will showcase electricity, gas and water consumption in each house to encourage energy conservation.

Mitsui Fudosan is cooperating with big companies like Hitachi Ltd. and Sharp Corp., an affiliate of South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. and U.S. computer giant Hewlett-Packard Co.