Some energy resources may be exhausted in the near future. In Japan, too, it is inevitable that many young people are opting for lifestyles of health and sustainability (LOHAS).
For that, the use of renewable energy holds the key. I wish to introduce the LOHAS engineering project that Nihon University’s College of Engineering is experimenting with at its campus in Fukushima Prefecture.
Between 2009 and 2011, we built three types of LOHAS homes that combine solar panels with small windmills, use a system to extract underground heat through a steel pipe pile used for seismic isolation, and a system to circulate and reuse rainwater. By combining these technologies, we are advancing research and development of systems that enable a self-sufficient supply of water and energy.
Fukushima, which was hit hard by last year’s disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, set a goal to generate more than 100 percent of the prefecture’s energy demand with renewable energy sources by around 2040.
An industry-academic-government project is advancing in Fukushima. It is aimed at building a research center for renewable energies to create future industries by gathering domestic and international wisdom.
We believe it is our mission to create a Fukushima model, in which people coexist with nature by becoming energy independent, and to spread it across the world. Together with people around the world, we wish to create a LOHAS community based on the idea of parting with an environmentally destructive technological civilization and switching to a civilization to live in harmony with nature that makes use of wisdom passed down from ancient times.
(Takao Kakizaki is a professor in Nihon University's College of Engineering)
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