An innovation in the field of wind power comes from Yokohama’s Renewable Energy International Exhibition 2010, through the form of a so-called “Wind Lens”. Developed by professor Yuji Ohya, the 112-meter in diameter turbine acts just like a magnifying glass, focusing the wind’s power to the center of the hoop.
The professor claims his Wind Lens can double and even triple the power output of a conventional wind turbine, and can also reduce the noise pollution and safety of the installation. Often, wind turbines have been accused by many to ruin landscapes and create a lot of noise, plus the case when due to high wind velocities they got torn and caused a lot of damage to surrounding agriculture.
Japan starts to center its attention on wind power, after previously tinkering with geothermal power from its volcanoes for a while. Still, the geothermal resource only accounts for a 0.2 percent of the total electricity needs of Japan. Wind, on the other hand, gives the world 2 percent of the global energy necessities, which is somewhere near 159.2 GW. Though sustained R&D, Japan could lead in this sector not only in their homeland, but also overseas.
Of course, every technology using natural resources has to adapt to the various conditions of the place they are being placed at. Ohya is skeptic, though: “Despite its merits, even if this technology does enter the market in Japan, it may not be easily adopted by other countries, due to differing intensities and directions of wind conditions.”
Still, it could be successfully ported to windy countries like Denmark, Austria, Germany or Norway, or states like Texas – all of them champions in wind power production. All the Wind Lens needs is acceptance and commercial viability.