Wednesday, November 12, 2008


In the afternoon of November 01, hubby and me went to Akita city to do our weekend shopping and purchasing. Hubby was in a mood for long car drive and therefore he took a slightly different and a longer route to go to Akita. He drove the usual way following route no. 7 Akita-Minami bypass upto a place called Araya. In Araya, he took a left turn and drove on route no. 65 Hamanasu Road, which we rarely use. On our way while passing through this road, we saw many enormous towering windmills. Although Araya is located in Akita city limits itself, I never noticed the windmills until that day as we usually take a shorter and more convenient route to go to Akita. Or probably because I usually doze off during the car rides! I was really impressed by the sight of these power generating windmills which are 60-80 meters in height.

Photos of the windmills

With the soaring oil prices and the environmental issues taking center stage, communities and industries in Japan are nowadays looking to wind power to help out with the energy needs. Wind power is also viewed as a way to help Japan fulfill its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, which sets targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Therefore, amid the growing interest in renewable energy, especially in wind power generation, various companies, including large trading firms are now entering into 'green energy' businesses.
Akita prefecture is an environmentally friendly prefecture and promotes the use of new type of energy that utilizes wind power. Akita Araya Wind Farm is located in the defunct Akita airport vacant lot in Akita city. There are ten windmills in this farm that were installed by Akita Wind Power Laboratory and the maker of these windmills is a company named NEG-Micon. Initially only two windmills, each with a rated output of 400 kW, were installed in 1998. These windmills were very effective in electric power generation. Consequently, eight additional windmills, each with a rated output of 750 kW, were installed in the year 2000. These windmills are used for the purpose of business of selling electric power.
Power generation using windmills is a very effective use of the wind energy of the cold Akita prefecture. The prefecture is situated in a latitude band where migratory low and high atmospheric pressure passes in groups except during the summer-time and it is especially under great influence of continental high atmospheric pressure. Consequently, in winter there is heavy snow and strong winds from the west. In Akita prefecture, which faces the Japan Sea, there are stronger winds than in other prefectures, especially those on the Pacific Ocean side. Therefore, power generation by using wind energy can be very effective in this prefecture.

Photo of one of the windmills

Hubby enjoying the picturesque view of the windmills

Hubby posing with a windmill

Although the efforts of Japan in power generation using wind energy are still in their infancy, it is a field that is rapidly expanding.

The following scientific research paper and website (in Japanese) are interesting and gives information about the windmills and power generation in Akita prefecture.
1. 'Practical running of windmill in cold northern district' authored by K. Kikuti, J. Ito, and N. Yoshimura in the journal 'Antarctic Record', Volume 84, (1985), pages 80-98.


warxpart said...

Thaks 4 information about Windmills.....and pic of windmils r absolutely fabulous.....
it is very essential to produce energy from solar, wind, water which r naturally available..and we can give eco-friendly environment to our next generation...
I think USA is quite indifferent in Kyoto Protocol & USA should take initiative to reduce Carbondioxide which is one of the main reasons of Global Warming..
Last but not the least... pls..don't riding car in dozing....

Manisha Kundu-Nagata said...

Thanks for your comment, warxpart. Yeah, USA has neither ratified nor withdrawn from the Kyoto protocol....
Well, hubby was driving the car so that I could doze off during the ride. I guess it is not that clear in the post. Dozing off while driving is too dangerous!

google said...

"Dozing off while driving is too dangerous!" <--- yea, ofcourse, if the person dozing is behind the wheels :D

Manisha Kundu-Nagata said...

Thanks for your comment google. Yeah, exactly my point. While driving, the driver is behind the wheels (ideally, he he he). And he/she cannot afford to doze off.