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.
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