Japan has to walk back on its decision to invest in wind energy after the Defense Department claimed turbine blades heavily interfere with their radar defense system.
After the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the government decided to quench the country’s energy-thirsty economy by doubling down on generating power by wind turbines as a theoretically sustainable energy source for the future.
So far, the Land of the Rising Sun has invested millions in developing wind energy technology, launching dozens of onshore and offshore wind power generation plants in five designated areas.
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By the end of 2021, Japan had installed a total of 2,574 wind turbines across the nation, data from the Japan Wind Power Association showed.
However, there are some unfavorable strings attached to switching to wind energy as a major resource, it turns out.
Apart from wind energy being low-yielding, polluting, and expensive, it may also be a very unhealthy technology, according to critics of the technology, like Activist Post, highlighted.
Recently, wind turbine contractors received a headwind from another direction, namely the military, that stated windmills would be seriously interfering with the defense’s radar technology-based foreign aircraft tracking defense system.
In particular, many tall windmills do not only catch a lot of wind, but also a lot of ultrasonic soundwaves and bounce them back to the emitting station, creating quixotic ghost images on the radar screen as if the Japanese airspace is being invaded by alien vessels.
The Defense Ministry designated more than ten areas where wind turbines form a considerable leak in the country’s protective shield and national security. It thus hopes to nudge the hubs to other, less strategic locations.
As several zephyric energy generation projects were underway, a drastic location change would lead to considerable capital destruction and a waste of energy and efforts.
“We are troubled now because we were suddenly told to change plans we had made according to the rules,” an unnamed associate with a wind energy cooperation told Kyodo News.
“The trade and industry ministry and the Defense Ministry should have coordinated on this,” the spokesperson complained.
Japan’s national defense situation has been particularly tense recently, with an angry neighbor in the form of North Korea continuously intensifying their so-called missile testing this year, with one such ballistic missile landing in Aomori waters — one of the designated offshore wind power sites — earlier this year.
Also, as a matter of habit, foreign nations such as China and Russia regularly threaten to violate Japanese airspace with their fighter jets.
“We want to consider reviewing the system design in order to achieve the introduction of wind power while balancing defense capabilities,” one source from within the military told the outlet.
Moving turbine clusters to another location, apart from being an expensive, energy and manpower-wasting operation, has its legal challenges as well.
At present, there are no laws in place that allows the military to dictate how internal infrastructure should be laid out.