Anger as Japan backs solar over wind to replace nuclear

Japan 'cannot afford to miss' the opportunity to replace nuclear with wind, according to a global wind energy trade association.

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) this week called for 'urgent action' to exploit Japan's 'tremendous' wind power potential to fill the gap left by the country reducing its reliance on nuclear.

According to the GWEC the potential of Japan's wind resources is as much as 1,900 GW, including 300 GW onshore and 1,600 GW of offshore power.

But at the end of 2010, Japan's wind capacity stood at only 2.3 GW, even prior to Fukishima, the Japanese wind industry associations had called for 50 GW of wind development, 25 GW onshore and 25 GW offshore.

Last week Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan announced his country would move away from nuclear power towards more reliance on renewable sources.

Mr Kan said last week he aims to focus on the 'sunrise plan', which as the name suggests will look towards solar power rather than wind.

GWEC's secretary general, Steve Sawyer, said: "We were disappointed to hear Mr Kan did not make any mention of scaling up Japan's wind power capacity.

"Japan cannot afford to miss this opportunity to deploy the rich wind resource at its doorstep."

Luke Walsh


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