There is strong local opposition from hot spring owners to a geothermal power project in Bandai-Asahi National Park stretching over Fukushima prefecture and Hokkaido’s Akan National Park.
There is increasing opposition from locals for planned geothermal power plant projects in the prefecture of Fukushima and Hokkaido.
The projects are planned in the Bandai-Asahi National Park/ Fukushima and Akan National Park/ Hokkaido. The main concerns are by local hot springs that fear a drying up of their livelihood. They argue that most of the reports claiming that development won´t affect their hot springs are contract work on behalf of developers and therefore not trustable.
A meeting held for the project in the Bandai-Asahi National Park in late July 2012 ended in disagreement between the developer, government representatives and locals and no agreement was reached to conduct a ground survey for the project advancement.
The syndicate of Idemitsu Kosan Co. plans a 270 MW development in the park.
Similar opposition exists at another planned project at Akan National Park on Hokkaido.
Another project planned in Kurukoma Quasi-National Park, close to Yuzawa, Akita Prefecture, has though progressed after the local community agreed with conducting a ground surface study.
Sachio Ehara, a professor emeritus at Kyushu University, said, “Developers should explain more about geothermal power generation to local people, including how it might affect hot spring, rather than just stressing that it’s safe.”
Ehara, who set up the Institute for Geothermal Information to explain the importance of geothermal power generation, added, “It’s important to take plenty of time to carefully explain the project from the basics of geothermal heat, rather than taking the attitude that the development will go ahead regardless.”
Source: McClatchy-Tribune Regional News/ Yomiuri Shumbun via Renewablesbiz