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Japanese Golf Courses Go From Financial Flops to Solar Farms

In a country where space is at a premium, abandoned greens are set to generate lots of green energy.

Japanese Golf Courses Go From Financial Flops to Solar Farms

Image via Flickr user Miki Yoshihito

Not too long ago, Japan experienced a “boom” in golf courses. As the economy climbed, so did the world’s most luxurious (and mocked) leisure activity. But when the market crashed, so did golf, leaving Japan a brutal and tattered landscape of abandoned courses. Instead of demolishing the courses, however, Japan came up with a brilliant idea: Why not turn them into solar farms?


It might seem like a wild and strange repurposing, but it appears to have worked. Multinational energy company Kyocera has already started construction on a 23-megawatt farm, built out of a former golf course in Kyoto. The farm is expected to produce an estimated 26,312 megawatt hours per year, enough to power 8,100 local households. According to The Independent, there are hundreds of similar farms all across the nation, and still others, in the works.

Image via Wikimedia

Even American companies have started to express interest in Japan’s model, although no plans are officially in place. The technology is improving, and rapidly. While Japan’s latest plant is expected to produce around 26,000 megawatts, their next one may be capable of producing nearly four times that amount. Golf courses make for excellent (and non-traditional) power generators: wide, sunny, and abandoned.

It may not be a hole-in-one, but it’s a brilliant (and bizarre) solution to a sometimes terrifying energy crisis.

(Via: The Independent)

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