Fukushima reinvents itself with a $2.7 billion bet on renewables

Workers of Fukushima Daiichi

Photo by Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

The site of the most recent high-profile nuclear disaster is reinventing itself as a renewable energy leader in Japan. Land that became too toxic for people to farm and live on after the 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station will soon be dotted with windmills and solar panels.

By 2024, 11 solar and 10 wind power plants on abandoned land in Fukushima Prefecture will generate 600 megawatts, which is roughly two-thirds of the energy output of a typical nuclear plant, Nikkei Asian Review and Yale Environment 360 reported. It’s still far less power than the nearly 4,700 megawatts its nuclear reactors were capable of generating before. But a 2017 prefecture survey found that 54 percent of residents wanted renewable…

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