A northern Japanese city’s efforts to rebuild its electric power system after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami mark a quiet shift away from the country’s old utility model toward self-reliant, local generation and transmission.
The city of 40,000 chose to construct micro-grids and de-centralized renewable power generation to create a self-sustaining system capable of producing an average of 25 percent of its electricity without the need of the region’s local power utility.
Under a large-scale power system a “blackout at one area would lead to wide-scale power outages. But the independent distributed micro-grid can sustain power even if the surrounding area is having a blackout.”
Distributed generation uses small-scale power generation fueled by natural gas or solar and wind power arrays. Smart energy systems use the internet to connect appliances and meters to better direct electric power where and when its needed.
Higashi Matsushima has built its own independent transmission grid and solar generating panels as well as batteries to store power that can keep the city running for at least three days, according to Atsumi.
We are moving towards a day when we won’t be building large-scale power plants. Instead, we will have distributed power systems, where small power supply systems are in place near the consumption areas.
Ein Beispiel für ein Energiezellensystem. Leider zeigt sich auch hier, dass man erst aus Schaden klug wird.