In the wake of the 2011 9.0 eathquake and tsunami that caused the disaster in the Fukushima nuclear power plant, Japan has started a switch towards safer and more environmentally friendly energy sources as well as more efficient energy use. Japan’s nuclear plants have been shut down for safety checks since the disaster and many local communities are against starting them up again. But instead of going back to fossil fuels, Japan is moving towards modern alternative power sources, and the government is launching smart city projects that will implement safer and more efficient power use in eight tsunami-battered regions.
The Japanese government will provide assistance to eight cities that were heavily damaged in last year’s earthquake and tsunami to rebuild using “smart city” technologies that use IT to cut dependence on traditional power sources. The targeted cities, which teamed up with major domestic companies like Fujitsu, Toyota and Toshiba to apply for the project, now have until September to submit final proposals for projects that are up and running by March 2016.
Japan is investing heavily in infrastructure projects that seek to use advanced networking technology along with power grids to efficiently track and control electricity use. Such infrastructure, which includes Internet-connected power meters in homes, and giant electricity “routers” that control where power is sent, is considered a key building block before alternative energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines can be used on a large scale, which is the ultimate goal of the project, as the island county has few natural resources of its own.
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