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Tuesday, 21st July 2015
In General Japan News,

Solar power plants being created out of Japan's abandoned golf courses

Since the 1980s heyday of golf in Japan, participation in the sport across the country has dropped by 40 per cent, leaving the nation with a rather unique problem. That is what to do with the abandoned golf courses?

Despite the possibility of being levelled with development in mind, the electronics giant Kyocera has come upon a more innovative approach to using these spaces.

The firm is using abandoned golf courses to open vast solar panel arrays to help provide renewable energy to the gadget-obsessed country of Japan.

So far the move has been welcomed by many, with a need to replace nuclear power in the nation being more apparent.

The first of the projects to get underway is located in Kyoto prefecture and will launch in 2017 and see 23 megawatts of power produced, the equivalent energy needed to run 8,000 homes.

A second plant was given permission to go ahead in January 2014, but it will be considerably bigger in size when it is completed in Kagoshima prefecture.

This 2,000,000 square metre space will have the capacity to accommodate no fewer than 340,740 Kyocera solar panels.

Such an array will be able to produce 99,230 megawatts of energy a year, which could power 30,500 households.

The reasons that former golf courses make such good sites for solar energy plants include having expansive land masses, high exposures to solar irradiation and a low concentration of shade trees to interrupt the rays getting through.

Kyocera began in 1959 when it was founded as the Kyoto Ceramic Company, but was renamed in 1982.

Despite changing its name, the firm is still headquartered in the city, but had diversified from ceramics into electronics and optical lenses, as well as other things.

Related news stories:
Biggest floating solar power plant in the world being built in Japan (26th January 2016)
Japan's first mega-solar power plant at ex-airport (30th November 2012)
Japan aims to boost global share in solar cell production (18th March 2009)
Japan 'presses ahead on solar power development' (29th January 2009)
City residents receive free solar panels (12th November 2008)