February 29, 2024

A Renewable Future for Fukushima: Solar and Wind Farms Cover Fields That Were Abandoned After Nuclear Accident

Solar and wind farms now cover fields that were abandoned after the nuclear accident in 2011.
In 2011, an earthquake and tsunami damaged nuclear reactors and released radioactive product from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in northeastern Japan. More than a years later, the location around the broken power plant has ended up being a center of renewable resource production.

Prior to the accident at Fukushima, nuclear power offered about one quarter of Japans electrical energy. The quick expansion of renewable energy production has actually helped compensate for the modification, but the share of natural gas and coal has increased substantially as well, according to information from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In current years, the use of nuclear power in Japan has likewise rebounded, accounting for 7 percent of electricity generation in 2019.

By Adam Voiland, NASA Earth Observatory
April 15, 2022

April 13, 2014 (Click image for wide view.).
March 31, 2021 (Click image for large view.).
Many fields no longer appropriate for farming now shine with rows of solar panels due to a multibillion-yen investment in renewable resource. Federal government and market investors are pursuing strategies to establish 11 solar farms and 10 wind farms on abandoned or contaminated land around Fukushima, according to report.
The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 obtained this natural-color picture of the area on March 31, 2021. For contrast, the other image shows the exact same location in April 2014. Some of the most prominent solar setups are situated near the towns of Futaba (above) and Tomioka (listed below).
March 31, 2021.
In 2014, Fukushima prefecture revealed an objective of having all of its energy come from eco-friendly sources by 2040. Regional leaders have made significant strides, with 43 percent of energy coming from sustainable sources by 2020, up from 24 percent in 2011.
The quick expansion of eco-friendly energy production has actually assisted compensate for the change, but the share of natural gas and coal has increased substantially as well, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In recent years, the usage of nuclear power in Japan has likewise rebounded, accounting for 7 percent of electrical energy generation in 2019.
NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin, utilizing Landsat information from the U.S. Geological Survey.