Thursday, November 10, 2016

Japan: Video Concludes that Geothermal Power Plants and Onsens Can Co-Exist

Japan is sitting on a massive geothermal reserve that heats thousands of spas (VICE News)

Hot spring spas are cultural institutions that have been around for more than a thousand years. Today, there are more than 3,000 onsens across the country, which service 120 million people every year, or roughly the entire population of Japan. The owners are facing pressure to share the geothermal reserves that heat their spas to help power the country.

After the Fukushima meltdown, the Japanese government faced significant pressure to shut down all of the country’s nuclear reactors. Without nuclear power, the country gets almost 87 percent of its energy needs from expensive and polluting fossil fuels.

“We have enough to power 20 big nuclear power plants,” said professor Sachio Ehara, chairman of the Geothermal Information Institute. “Japan is a land full of volcanoes.”

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