Japan Turning Unused Golf Courses Into Solar FarmsSmacking a few balls around is a great way to spend the day, but what happens to the golf courses when people stop playing? Turn them into solar farms!

Some time ago, back in the ’80s, Japan’s economy was booming. Demand for property was through the roof and people’s pockets were fat with cash. What does every rich bloke need? That’s right – somewhere to play golf.

A few too many golf courses

Japanese property developers responded with great gusto, and soon the land was choc-a-block with golf courses. As any golfer will tell you, it’s a great way to pass the time, but nevertheless the sport fell out of favour, leaving Japan with hundreds of deserted fairways that were slowly falling into disrepair. What could they do with all this wasted space?

Turning the fairway into a solar farm

In the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japanese officials were understandably keen to explore alternative sources of power. Continued advances in solar energy, combined with access to a bunch of unused golf courses led Kyocera, a global company operating in a range of industries, to an obvious conclusion: Turn the sprawling open spaces into solar farms. Golf courses, with their massive surface areas and high sun exposure, make ideal locations for such ventures.

On July 1, Kyocera announced its plans to construct an enormous 23-megawatt solar power plant on an abandoned golf course in the Kyoto Prefecture, a region in southern Japan. The company estimates that it will generate more than 23 megawatt hours (MWh) per year, which is enough power to support around 8,100 local homes. Construction has only just begun on the solar plant, and is projected to be completed in 2017.

The future of solar power

Solar power and other sources of renewable energy are becoming increasingly important both in Australia and around the world. Recently, Kyocera and its partners announced plans to also develop a 92 megawatt (MW) solar farm in the Kagoshima Prefecture at another site that had been set aside as a golf course some 30 years ago, but was never finished.

Where can you find out more about solar?

As a sparky in Australia, it’s important to stay ahead of developments in the industry so we can see how the job may change in years ahead. Make sure you’re ready for whatever’s in store by staying equipped with all the latest tools. L&H NOW offers more than 300,000 electrical products for all your sparky needs. Orders can be placed 24/7 from anywhere in Australia.

Contact your nearest L&H electrical wholesaler today:

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