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Wind Farms vs Nuclear Energy: In Japanese Earthquake Test, Wind Wins!

The renewable energy market has certainly been booming since the earthquake in Japan diminished the worlds faith in nuclear energy. With various nuclear...

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|Mar 18|magazine6 min read
The renewable energy market has certainly been booming since the earthquake in Japan diminished the world’s faith in nuclear energy. With various nuclear reactors failing in Japan, it has become apparent that nuclear plants may not be the safest route for energy production, especially if constructed in an earthquake-prone zone. Wind farms, on the other hand, appear to be earthquake-proof!

According to Yoshinori Ueda, head of the International Committee of the Japan Wind Power Association & Japan Wind Energy Association, no wind energy facilities have been damaged from either the earthquake or tsunami in Japan. This even includes the Kamisu semi-offshore wind farm located just 300 km from the epicenter of the earthquake.

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Unfortunately, three of Japan’s eleven wind farms have been reportedly shut down due to grid failure (not failure of the wind farms themselves). Of Japan’s 275 MW of installed wind energy capacity, 175 MW are currently being produced. While the wind farms themselves may be earthquake-proof, the energy grid is apparently still susceptible.

Japanese authorities are asking wind farm operators to increase production as much as possible to meet demand with nuclear reactors offline.

Well, it seems renewable is the way to go. Not only do you not have to worry about those pesky radiation leaks in the event of a major natural disaster like a tsunami or earthquake, but the designs—at least on the part of wind farms—can hold their own. It’s astounding that not a single wind turbine has been damaged in the earthquake, and this should catch the attention of the world at-large—especially energy investors—knowing that their investment is safeguarded, even in the case of an earthquake. With a more robust energy grid in place, a renewable energy power supply could potentially ward off even the most horrific of natural disasters.