Kelly Rigg of GCCA, the Global Campaign for Climate Action (with whom I work), has been corresponding with Japanese wind officials on the stability of the electrical grid during the crisis, and has reported that ALL the wind turbines survived the earthquake, even the offshore turbines in the vicinity of the earthquake epicenter. In some regions of Japan, this has saved the day, as power utilities have been struggling to meet basic energy demand in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear reactor breakdown. I've reposted a portion of her post here. Please leave your comments and thoughts below:
As the world collectively holds its breath to see how the Fukushima crisis plays out, there's a positive story that is not yet being reported. Despite assertions by its detractors that wind energy would not survive an earthquake or tsunami, the Japanese wind industry is still functioning and helping to keep the lights on during the Fukushima crisis.
I've been directly corresponding with Yoshinori Ueda — leader of the International Committee of the Japan Wind Power Association & Japan Wind Energy Association — and according to Ueda, there has been no wind damage reported by any association members, from either the earthquake or the tsunami. Even the Kamisu semi-offshore wind farm, located about 300 kilometers from the epicenter of the quake, survived. Its anti-earthquake "battle-proof design" came through with flying colors.
Ueda confirms that most Japanese wind turbines are fully operational. Indeed, he says that electric companies have asked wind farm owners to step up operations as much as possible to make up for shortages in the eastern part of the country:
Eurus Energy Japan says that 174.9 MW with eight wind farms (64 percent of their total capacity with 11 wind farms in eastern part of Japan) are in operation now. Kamaishi is notorious for tsunami disaster, but this wind farm is safe because it is located in the mountains about 900m high from sea level.
While shares in the Tokyo stock market have fallen during the crisis, the stock price of Japan Wind Development Co. Ltd. has risen from 31,500 yen on March 11 to 47,800 yen on March 16.
Read more on Kelly's blog at Huffington Post.