Delegates from the International Energy Agency have taken note of the efforts of Japan to seek renewable energy sources as part of its reconstruction following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Tokyo is currently seeking  input on best practices in energy planning for towns damaged by 2011 earthquake and tsunami and two members of the IEA Sustainable Energy and Policy Technology Directorate recently visited Japan’s Tohoku region to provide advice on rebuilding as energy self-sufficient “smart communities” many of the municipalities that were hit hardest by the March 2011 disaster.
Fukushima
Energy Technology Policy Division head Jean-François Gagné and Energy Demand Technology analyst John Dulac toured the planned reconstruction sites, where cogeneration and solar farms will provide not just a more sustainable energy system but will also serve as an example to the rest of the country and the world.

In a communiqué from the agency the IEA staff found that for instance, the town of Minami-Soma is developing a park that combines a solar power plant with a renewable energy “green academy” interactive learning centre for children based on a similar project in Tokyo that aims to build support among the next generation. Elsewhere, industrial waste energy will be reused as heat for a hospital.

Japan is seeking to reconstruct the areas devastated by the tsunami not only with renewable energy systems but also with self-sufficient and back-up power provision.

The IEA analysts discussed best practices in designing and developing smart communities that use biofuels, industrial heat waste and other sustainable or renewable means to power grids sustainably, efficiently and effectively.

In particular, the analysts recommended a systems perspective that provides clean and reliable supply while incorporating energy efficiency. They emphasised demand-management technology and educating consumers to use the information provided by smart grids to make their use of energy more efficient. They also discussed how land use and other organic elements of a community can affect energy efficiency, and they advised on installing smart grids in the new cities. Finally, they stressed the need to build in back-up power capacity to prevent supply disruption.

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