A Renewable Energy Village was started on the radioactive lands around Fukushima nuclear plant. The project includes using solar panels and growing crops in order to encourage Japanese farmers to start using their abandoned lands again.
The project is run by the community of Minamisoma city and has 120 solar panels generating 30 kilowatts of power. The idea that stands at the ground of the project is the one of “solar sharing” by growing crops beneath raised solar panels.
The concept could help the local farmers to restart agriculture in their community and to earn extra money from selling renewable energy to local utilities, as about two thirds of Minamisoma’s farmland lies within the nuclear evacuation zone surrounding Fukushima’s nuclear plant.
The Renewable Energy Village could also include wind turbines in the future, the international press reports.
Rapeseed is one of the plants that will be grown during the project. Rapeseed is a hardy, mustard-type plant with seeds that can be processed for machine lubricants or cooking oils.
According to scientists from Belarus, rapeseed plants can absorb radioactive elements such as cesium-137 and strontium-90 into their stalks and seed coverings while keeping their seeds uncontaminated.