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Solar Power Plants Replace Abandoned Japanese Golf Courses

This is a digital drawing of what the abandoned golf course in Kagoshima will look like.
This is a digital drawing of what an abandoned golf course in Kagoshima will look like.

Japan has come up with an innovative way to use several abandoned golf courses. The courses were initially built during the ’80s when golf was extremely popular in the country.

In 2015, the sport is losing fans, so much so that 40% less golf is being played in Japan than in the 1990’s. Kyocera has instead installed solar energy plants at these locations, capitalizing on the country’s eagerness for alternative energy since the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

Unused golf courses are ideal for solar energy plants; they have lots of available space and they also receive plenty of sunlight. The first project undertaken by Kyocera will see the construction of a 23 MW solar plant in the Kyoto prefecture that will be on the grid and producing energy by 2017. It will be big enough to provide electricity for 8,100 homes.

In addition, the company is also planning another solar plant, one in the Kagoshima prefecture that will be able to generate 92MW and power 30,000 homes. Construction, however, has not yet commenced on this project.

Golf is losing popularity in other countries as well. Solar energy plants are not the only thing these spaces can be used for. Since no-longer-used golf courses are often close to places where people live, suburban sprawl could fill these areas in as opposed to spreading further into undeveloped areas. With solar panels installed on the roofs of these buildings, unused golf courses could become environmentally advantageous very quickly.

Image (c) Business Insider Australia

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  1. This still seems like a dubious idea. It’s a rationalization to industrialize land that had a semi-natural look and could be allowed to revert back to nature. Wind turbines are far worse, though. They have an extreme vertical profile and loom over everything. Energy sprawl could be the biggest environmental tragedy of this century. It’s much wiser to put solar panels on roofs and other structures that already exist.


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