[Editor’s Note: We came across information related to this unique clean energy project as we were researching material related to the ongoing earthquake and tsunami devastation in Japan. Our hearts go out to all of those impacted by this tragedy of all tragedies. The fate of those who were in attendance at this unveiling only days before the earthquake, as well as that of the project itself, are unknown at the time this story was published.]
The small city of Maebashi, Japan, is located a little ways outside of Tokyo. At the base of Mt. Akagi, it is described, two rivers flow through the heart of this town, creating not only a beautiful setting but also a strong potential for use of hydroelectricity. A small scale clean energy project going on here is looking to address a compliant many have about how dirty coal often fuels the electricity needed to charge electric vehicles.
As reported by the Denki Shimbun, a small 0.5 kW hydroelectric generator has been settled into a stream going by a school. This generator is creating clean electricity that is being used for an EV charging system that looks to be hooked up directly to it. This system, incidentally, is free to the public for use, at least for the time being. Maebashi looks to be conducting other experiments with small scale hydroelectricity as well.
While it isn’t fully clear if this EV charging system in Maebashi only relies upon hydroelectric, or how long it takes to charge one electric vehicle like a Nissan Leaf, the obvious implications here are that it is possible to directly use a renewable energy source to power the green cars of tomorrow. And for that, we should all be happy.