Manufacturing News

Japanese Toyota plant looks to alternatives to nuclear energy

A Toyota plant in the north-east of Japan has converted to gas and solar energy following the Fukushima nuclear accident and producing 100,000 sedan vehicles a year.

AFP reports that the factory in Miyagi prefecture operates a gas-fired generator, with the heat created from burning gas also used to dry paint on cars.

Water heated by the turbines for the 7,800 kilowatt gas plant is also used in a nearby greenhouse, which grows vegetables for sale.

According to the report, solar power is also part of the Toyota plant’s energy mix, and linkage to the local grid would allow it to provide energy to the nearby video in case of an emergency.

Nuclea power provides about a third of Japan’s energy, though the 2011 earthquake/tsunami disaster led to a temporary hold on their operations and a re-think on where the country’s energy could be coming from.

“The country is now on track to lead thesolar energy market this year, some analysts say, while the world’s largest offshore wind farm is being built off the battered northeast coast,” AFP notes.

Automotive rivals to Toyota, such as Honda in Yorii and Mitsubishi in Kyoto have also made a switch to solar and gas energy.


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