Date : October 17 - 18, 2008
Video Report:October 17-18, 2008【IWATE Press Tour (Kuzumaki, a Town for Clean Energy)】
post date : 2013.08.24
～Big challenges and issues of small towns: "Co-existence with nature" beyond time and space, nurtured by the earth and people in Iwate～
■Kuzumaki, a Town for Milk, Wine, and Clean Energy (October 17-18, 2008)
Kuzumaki-machi is located at latitude 40 degrees north in the northern part of Kitagami Sanchi in Iwate Prefecture. It is surrounded by 1000m-class mountains. The town is well known as the “No.1 dairy producer in Tohoku”with a population of about 8,000.
■Mr. Shigeo Suzuki, Mayor of Kuzumaki-machi
Our town Kuzumaki is known for “Milk, Wine, and Clean energy”.
We aim to become a town providing food and energy security as well as environment preservation.
We will work hard on the most critical global issues in the 21st century, such as food, environment, and energy.
■Kamisodegawa-kogen Wind Power Station
12 windmills with an output of 1,750kW each are in operation in the Kamisodegawa-kogen where the altitude is 1000m above sea level. The predicted yearly output is 54 million kW, equivalent to the electricity consumption of 16,000 households.
-- Mr. Kenji Sase, Director of Green Power Kuzumaki --
We introduced these “V-66” blades from Denmark. 66 is the diameter of a blade. 12 windmills with an output of 1,750kW each are in operation. All the electric power generated here is sent to the Tohoku Electric Power Company.
We expect to have very good wind in winter, strong enough to move the windmills and help generate 54 million kW a year.
The view from Kamisodegawa-kogen is magnificent, and could serve as a new tourism resource.
■Solar Power Generation System at Kuzumaki Junior High School
--Mr. Haruyuki Yoshizawa, Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Energy Division, Kuzumaki-machi--
First, we built three windmills of the wind power station and made them as symbols of our town.
Second, we wanted people in the town to have some new energy facilities in their daily lives. As they see the station every day, they become familiar with the new energy system.
As it is put in a school, it helps children learn more about environment. That is our intention.
--Members of Kuzumaki Junior High School Football Club--
(Q: Do you know about solar power generation? What do you think about it?)
Yes, we know. It is very good.
It generates electric power, stores it, and helps the electricity supply at our school.
--Solar power generation indicator--
As you see, it indicates 21.8kW and it just changed. If this figure lasts for one hour, the system generates 22.1kW/h. Annual output is about 200,000kW/h. Total cost of the project is 46 million yen, half of it subsided by the central government.
From now on, every new public facility in the town should be equipped with a clean energy generation system, such as solar panels and pellet boilers.
■Livestock Excreta Biogas System in Kuzumaki Highland Ranch
Mr. Haruyuki Yoshizawa, Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Energy Division, Kuzumaki-machi
Many cattle we keep at this ranch are calfs owned by farmers in other prefectures. We keep 1800 of them a year and send them to graze in the mountains in summer. They come down here from the mountains and stay winter in the barn with the red roof over there.
We have 11,000 head of cattle in Kuzumaki and a total of 400-500 tons of animal manure are collected in one day. We built this facility as we need to properly manage and clean up the huge amount of animal manure.
This is a resource recycling facility, which produces electricity, heat and organic fertilizer from livestock excreta.
Methane gas has 20 times higher effect of the greenhouse gas than that of CO2. This plant doesn’t put it in the air but makes use of it as energy. So it has many purposes.
■Mr. Shigeo Suzuki, Mayor, Kuzumaki-machi
For people in big cities, we try to prove that a mountain village is capable of producing food, preserving environment, and creating energy, in particular clean energy. Kuzumaki-machi produces food and is proud of its self-sufficiency rate of 201%. By comparison, Tokyo’s is 1% and all of Japan’s 40%. Kuzumaki, a self-sufficient village in Iwate Pref., protects the natural environment and pass it on to people who live in the 22nd century.
We can create such clean energy sources as wind power, solar power, woody pellet boilers, and methane bio gas system. Moreover, our town, a mountain village, still has firewood and charcoal. By actually practicing what it preaches, Kuzumaki wants to verify that a mountain village is viable.