About a 2 1/2-hour drive east of central Tokyo, on the edge of
the Kanto plain, stands one of the closest wind farms to the capital,
whirring away as it generates up to 25,500 kw of clean electricity.
Here in the fishing port of Choshi, Chiba Prefecture, warm and cold
currents meet offshore in the Pacific Ocean, creating strong winds that
feed about 30 of the 1,400 windmills erected nationwide.
Wind power is drawing increased attention as . . .
Japan’s wind power industry installed only 185 megawatts (MW) of
capacity in the year ended in March, 2008, less than half of what it
installed in 2006/07, as tighter regulations delayed the contruction of
The stricter guidelines, which stipulate that wind turbines must clear
the same safety regulations that apply to tall buildings, were
introduced last summer following a scandal in 2005 over falsified
engineering data for apartment blocks. Critics say the new rules . . .
In the country that hosted the Kyoto Protocol and wrote the book
on solar policy, the wind-power industry has ground almost to a halt.
Among the culprits: policy, cost and technology challenges.
The strong winds that buffeted the Tokai and Kanto regions
Tuesday apparently snapped the massive blades of two wind turbines in
Higashi-Izucho, Shizuoka Prefecture, officials of the company that
operates the turbines said.
The site hosts 10 windmills belonging to CEF Izuatagawa Wind Farm Co.,
a subsidiary of Nemuro, Hokkaido-based wind power generation company
Clean Energy Factory Co. Each windmill is 103.5 meters tall, and can
generate 1,500 kilowatts. Turbines No. 4 and No. 5 each . . .
Wind-power companies are complaining that tougher
quake-resistance requirements for buildings have made it difficult or
even impossible to construct facilities for the clean energy.
They also say that if wind turbines remain covered under the revised
Building Standards Law, it would hurt the government’s target for
wind-power generation capacity.
The law now requires windmills that are more than 60 meters tall to
clear the same quake-resistance screening as those for high-rise
Of the 59 planned wind-power . . .