After the real estate bubble burst, many countries were left with foreclosed homes, empty lots and an economy reeling. Japan is taking a new approach and re-purposing it’s abandoned properties. In the late 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s Japan saw a rise in golf courses popping up with memberships going for millions and when the bubble burst many became abandoned.
In the aftermath of Fukushima, Japan decided to roughly double the amount of renewable power sources by 2030. They were already building solar power plants that floated on water, so why not turn an abandoned course into a solar power plant? Earlier this month, Kyocera announced they had started construction on a project located on an old golf course. It is scheduled to go operational in September of 2017, generating enough electricity to power approximately 8,100 typical local households.
In late May, the company announced an even larger project that will begin construction next year in Kagoshima on land that had been designated for a golf course more than 30 years ago but was subsequently abandoned. The plant is expected to generate enough to power about 30,500 households when it goes operational in 2018.
Kyocera isn’t the only company taking notice in Japan, Tokyo-based Pacifico Energy is building 2 plants on old courses in Okayama, with help from GE Energy Financial Services.
Japan is not alone in pursuing this “new” idea. In the US, golf-courses are facing a decline in interest in the sport and many have reacted by relaxing dress codes, adding family programs, and restructuring their fees. While courses will undoubtedly close, the U.S. already has plans to replace closed courses with solar plants in New York, Minnesota, and other states.
How neat is this? Turning an abandoned property into a renewable energy source.