Japan could be geothermal energy leader: US expert

May 26, 2010
A a geothermal borehole beng drilled. A prominent US environmentalist said Japan should focus on developing geothermal energy, saying the volcanic island-nation could become the global leader in the field.

A prominent US environmentalist said Wednesday Japan should focus on developing geothermal energy, saying the volcanic island-nation could become the global leader in the field.

"Japan could make geothermal energy the centre of its new energy economy just as the US or China will make wind the centre of theirs," Lester Brown, president of the US-based Earth Policy Institute, told a news conference.

"There are no leaders in the world today in this field. There is no industrial country in the world that now has a well established geothermal industry" Brown said at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan.

Japan, located at the crossroads of four and on what is known as the "Pacific Ring of Fire" and dotted with volcanoes, is one of the world's most quake-prone countries.

If Japan can launch full development of geothermal energy technology, "it would not only lower in Japan, but it would also give Japanese industry the potential for playing a leading role in developing the world's geothermal energy resources." he said.

Brown noted that demand for the technology will grow in other geothermal-rich countries located on tectonic faultlines such as Indonesia and the Philippines in Asia as well as Chile, Peru and Colombia in South America.

"This is an opportunity for Japan to move to the centre stage in an area where it is richly endowed," he added.

Japan makes use of hot springs as a resource for tourism, but only accounts for 0.3 percent of its energy mix, and the country relies heavily on imports of oil and other resources.

Japan, Asia's biggest economy, has pledged to cut greenhouse emissions by 25 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels, provided other major emitters also make sharp reductions, one of the most ambitious targets of any industrialised country.

is the fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases, which are blamed for raising global temperatures, melting the Earth's ice caps and glaciers, and changing weather patterns.

Explore further: Ambitious EU targets for renewable energies make economic sense

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Indonesia aims to tap volcano power

Apr 24, 2010

Indonesia has launched an ambitious plan to tap the vast power of its volcanoes and become a world leader in geothermal energy, while trimming greenhouse gas emissions.

Intelligent use of the Earth's heat

Feb 27, 2009

Geothermal energy is increasingly contributing to the power supply world wide. Iceland is world-leader in expanding development of geothermal utilization: in recent years the annual power supply here doubled ...

The Inexhaustible Energy Source Beneath Our Feet

May 24, 2004

According to the expert Willy Gehrer, the environmentally friendly generation of electricity from geothermal sources is going to play an important role in the future of energy production. “I’m convinced that ...

Mines could provide geothermal energy

Jul 27, 2009

Mine shafts on the point of being closed down could be used to provide geothermal energy to local towns. This is the conclusion of two engineers from the University of Oviedo, whose research is being published ...

Recommended for you

Should the Japanese give nuclear power another chance?

6 hours ago

On September 9, 2014, the Japan Times reported an increasing number of suicides coming from the survivors of the March 2011 disaster. In Minami Soma Hospital, which is located 23 km away from the power plant, ...

UK wind power share shows record rise

9 hours ago

The United Kingdom wind power production has been enjoying an upward trajectory, and on Tuesday wind power achieved a significant energy production milestone, reported Brooks Hays for UPI. High winds from Hurricane Gonzalo were the force behind wind turbines outproducing nuclear power ...

Global boom in hydropower expected this decade

13 hours ago

An unprecedented boom in hydropower dam construction is underway, primarily in developing countries and emerging economies. While this is expected to double the global electricity production from hydropower, it could reduce ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gunslingor1
not rated yet May 26, 2010
""There are no leaders in the world today in this field. There is no industrial country in the world that now has a well established geothermal industry" Brown said at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan."

That's not true, Iceland is like 90% geothermal. They have developed hydrogen fueling stations, the hydrogen would be generated by geothermal. Problem is, no one will give them the hydrogen cars and, probably, payoffs from oil companies to keep this capability quite.

I agree Geothermal should be a MUCH larger source of energy as should nuclear, in just about every country. It would have been if evil oil wasn't quite so corrupting of our governments. It's just common sense (its free fuel!) and no more challenging than building a 1200MW coal plant, far more profitable, no pollution, modern not antiquate technology, etc, etc, etc.....