Kuzumaki, Japan

Kuzumaki, Japan

  • Target: 100% renewable energy
  • Status: Achieved
  • RES: Wind power and solar power
  • Implementation: In 2005, the Japanese town of Kuzumaki officially set the target of producing 100% of its energy needs through local renewable sources. The town council decided to implement several measures to increase awareness and involvement of its residents by holding town meetings, establishing educational tours, and publishing a monthly newsletter. Energy demonstration projects were initiated. In collaboration with private businesses, the city began to promote and implement wind power, biomass plants and other renewables.

    Today, Kuzumaki produces more than 100% of their energy needs through renewable sources. Around 180% of its energy needs is met through local renewable energy Institutional support. A subsidy of 30,000 yen per kW (max of 90,000 yen) is made available for solar PV installation with up to 50,000 yen available for installation of solar heating systems. To address transportation needs, the town offers 50,000 yen subsidies for the purchase of hybrid or electric vehicles. One half of the installation cost (max of 100,000 yen) is also available for installation of wood biomass heating systems (wood chip, pellet stoves). And 100,000 yen subsidies are possible for other renewables such as small hydro and wind power.

    Kuzumaki's road to 100% began in 1999 when the municipality inaugurated its ‘New Energy Vision’ program, with support from the New Energy Foundation (NEF) and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). Prior to this, the municipality had invested in Eco-World Kuzumaki Wind Power, Ltd. In June 1999, three 400kw-windmills were installed in Sodeyama-kogen Ranch, with enough electricity produced for 900 households, which is sold to the Tohoku Electric Power. Current annual turnover is 28 million yen, and the town also gets property tax income (20 million yen annually, averaged over 15 years). In March 2000, a solar power generator was installed in Kuzumaki Junior High School. This generates 50kw of electricity, but provides 25% of the school’s demand, and also encourages the students to get interested in clean energy. A survey to check wind conditions was conducted over two years and revealed promising sites for wind power generation. In 2001, the Green Power Kuzumaki Wind-Power Generation, Ltd. was founded. In 2002, twelve 1,750kw wind were installed, providing electricity for 16,000 households. The municipality supported the project by helping arrange planning permission and facilitating the procedures prior to the construction phase. In 2000, a feasibility study into bio-mass energy was conducted. In 2002, a generation facility was built using animal manure mixed with kitchen waste to produce methane gas, which is then used for electricity generation. Slurry left from the process is used as fertilizer. Its forests provide a valuable resource for making wood chips, with forestry waste used to make wood-pellet fuel. In Kuzumaki, the local winery uses a boiler with wood-pellet fuel. Another source of energy is hydropower at its ‘Seven Waterfalls’ area. The town also runs a ‘Natural Energy School’, which has its own windmill and solar-power generator.
  • Population: 6,149 (2016)
  • Area: 434.99 km2 (167.95 sq mi)
  • Link: https://www.gef.or.jp/20club/E/kuzumaki-e.htm
Kuzumaki, Japan

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