Empower the young with geothermal education to achieve the goal of Carbon Neutral 2050--Baseload Power Japan supports Spatto Naruko Onsen Natural Energy (NPO)’s lecture

July 24, 2023

Baseload Power Japan supported a renewable energy lecture at Naruko Junior High School in the Tohoku region, organized by the nonprofit organization - Spatto Naruko Onsen Natural Energy. Together with the local NPO, we continue to raise the awareness of geothermal energy among the young.

Spatto Naruko Onsen Natural Energy (NPO) was established in 2014 with the aim of using local natural energy to revitalize society, based on the belief that local production of energy for local consumption is important for ensuring energy stability. Since then, Professor Junji Muramatsu, Vice President of Tohoku University, and his team have regularly provided learning sessions on the theme of "carbon neutrality and renewable energy", consisting of classroom lectures, lab courses and extracurricular learning.

Naruko Onsen is one of the spa areas with the best geothermal resources in Japan. Geothermal energy is not an unfamiliar word to students from Naruko Junior High School. With the belief that young generation will play the significant role in the goal of Carbon Neutrality 2050, the NPO has been dedicated to make the young learn about geothermal energy and understand the challenges in their community for years. To support this mission, Baseload Power Japan has joined in the education activities as supporting members since 2022.

There are four sessions in 2023 program for Naruko Junior High School. The first one is a classroom lecture on the theme of ‘Carbon Neutrality and Renewable Energy.’

1) The greenhouse gases lead to global warming and climate change. To address the urgent issue, the Japanese government has set a carbon neutrality target for 2050;

2) Energy is divided into primary energy such as oil, coal, natural gas and renewable energy, and secondary energy provided to people by power plants;

3) Before the Great East Japan Earthquake, Japan was less dependent on fossil fuels. However, since nuclear power became unusable after the earthquake, 90% of its energy is still dependent on fossil fuels;

4) The target for the proportion of renewable energy in 2030 is 24%;

5) If electricity is the main source of secondary energy, then thermal power plants should be reduced, and renewable energy should be increased. To this end, we should pay attention to geothermal energy - the local heat source in the Naruko region.

Professor Muramatsu stressed the importance of changing our daily behavior. In particular, he said that the development of energy-saving technology in refrigerators and air conditioners is remarkable, so simply upgrading them to high-efficiency models can significantly reduce CO2 emissions from homes.

Tomoshi Yanada, principal of Naruko Junior High School, said: 'If we use geothermal resource surrounding us, we can produce not only clean electricity but also by-products such as hot spring eggs. The children of Naruko have grown up in an area blessed with geothermal energy, so I expect them to come up with ideas how to utilize the resource through the learning.

The following sessions include fieldwork at a geothermal site in August and a simulated heat exchange power generation experiment and visit to a hot spring in October.


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