SAPPORO, Japan (AP) — Japan and the United States agreed on Saturday to work together to develop geothermal energy, one of the most abundant resources in the volcanic archipelago.
The memorandum of commitment was signed on Saturday alongside a meeting of G7 energy and environment ministers in the northern city of Hokkaido.
Japan’s famous hot springs reflect abundant geothermal activity, but the spas and resorts clustered around them have delayed efforts to harness the resources for power generation.
The agreement, signed by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura, states that geothermal energy is recognized as “a renewable energy technology that the United States and Japan can work together to advance.”
It calls for cooperation in research and development and information exchange, and pursuit of geothermal projects in the United States, Japan and other countries. This is one of a series of areas where the two countries plan to work together to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions that contribute to climate change.
“The prospects for offshore wind are huge. The prospects for geothermal. said in an interview with
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimates that adding geothermal power could enable Japan to provide 90% of its electricity from renewable sources. According to a recent study, it represents a 92% reduction in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.
So far, Japan’s geothermal capacity is underutilized. There are dozens of small power plants operating on steamy hot springs scattered across the country, but together they account for less than 1% of the total power generation capacity.
Both Japan and the United States are aiming to export geothermal technology.
Japanese companies are participating in a joint project to build the world’s largest geothermal power plant, which will provide 320 gigawatts of electricity on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
Biomass and geothermal power also contribute less than 1% of the country’s power generation capacity, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
https://wgnradio.com/news/science-news/japan-us-agree-to-cooperate-on-geothermal-energy/ Japan-U.S. Geothermal Cooperation Agreement | Japan-U.S. WGN Radio 720