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» Introducing enewable energy as a power in case of disasters have been spreading

Moves to introduce renewable energy to secure power in case of serious natural disasters have been spreading throughout the country.

In most cases, solar panels are installed on rooftops, and power generated by such systems is usually sold to utilities and used for self-consumption in case of a disaster-triggered power blackout.

Hirotada Hirose, 72, who manages a five-story office building in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, set up 200 rooftop solar panels, each measuring 1 meter by 1.6 meters, for roughly 20 million yen. The building houses a legal firm office, a beauty parlor and other establishments. The solar panels generate 4,500 kilowatts-hour a month, which is equal to power consumed by 15 ordinary households.

Most electricity generated by the panels is stored in batteries while surplus power is sold to Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO).

If a serious disaster triggers a power outage, electric power stored in the batteries will be used for lighting and to operate pumps for restrooms among other devices inside the building.

Houtoku Energy, a company in Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, which generates electricity using renewable energy, has launched a project to supply power to facilities that will be used as evacuation shelters in case of serious disasters.

The company leases the rooftops of two municipal elementary schools, which will be used as shelters in case of disasters, at low costs to set up solar panels. The company will sell power generated by the solar panels to TEPCO and supply power free of charge to be used for evacuees if the schools gymnasiums are turned into shelters in case of disasters and a power failure occurs.

Odawara was included in areas where TEPCO planned to conduct rolling power blackouts shortly after the outbreak of the crisis at the tsunami-ravaged Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.
<Media Report>
Moves grow to use renewable energy as power source during disasters (Mainichi Newspaper)


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