Japanese abandoned deserted golf courses into Solar Power Plants


Just a few decades ago country club memberships sold for millions in Japan, but overdevelopment of golf properties during the real-estate boom of the 1990’s and 2000’s has led to hundreds of idle courses today that are now under analysis for repurposing or redevelopment.

floating solar

Japan’s energy strategy in the aftermath of Fukushima calls for roughly doubling the amount of renewable power sources in the country by 2030. It is already building solar power plants that float on water.

Since 2010, it seems there’s been a boom in solar energy. Not only is it being considered as a viable energy option that may replace both coal and nuclear energy, but it is being innovated to improve people’s lives.

An example of the former can be seen in Peru’s initiative to give its poorest residents electricity through free solar panels and Bangladesh for attempting to become the first country to run 100 percent on solar power. As for the latter, distilling of water was made more practical with solar panels while making electrical bikes run off the grid.

Japan has come up with some smart ways to install distributed solar power. The latest idea has been to develop floating solar power plants that cover small inland bodies of water like ponds and reservoirs.

solar panell

Solar power company, Kyocera and its partners announced they had started construction on a 23-megawatt solar plant project located on an old golf course in the Kyoto prefecture. Scheduled to go operational in September 2017, it will generate a little over 26,000 megawatt hours per year, or enough electricity to power approximately 8,100 typical local households. The electricity will be sold to a local utility.

Solar power production represents an ideal type of landscape reuse in this context for many reasons: expansive areas with little shade and high sun exposure are perfect for laying out panels for maximum effect and efficiency. If pushing solar energy keeps up, it will surely become a stable part of people’s lives. And now, Japan is helping with that push by coming up with the ingenious plan to build solar energy plants on abandoned golf courses to solve energy problems. Apparently, the idea is so popular, it is spreading like wildfire.

Also under construction, a similar project in the Kagoshima Prefecture is being located on an area originally cleared for a golf course that was never finished and occupied.

Japan is not alone in pursuing the idea. There’s hundreds of similar sites across Japan, owing to a severe over-development of golf courses in the past. Many are being converted into housing developments and parks, but their size and lack of shade make them perfect for solar farms. (AGB.com – VL)


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