The Shinchi Project of the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences Reported Research Activities Outcomes to the Public
GSFS Shinchi Project for Fostering Post-Disaster Knowledge Professionals through Sustainable Community Development by a Public-Private-Academic Partnership held a research report meeting for the public at the Shinchi Cultural Exchange Center, Kankai Hall on Thursday, February 2, 2023. Graduate students reported their research activities outcomes on "Energy and Transportation in Shinchi Town."
People from Shinchi Town*, including those from Shinchi Town Office, attended the meeting, while students of Shinchi Town Shoei Junior High School joined in the meeting online. They shared the research outcomes and had a lively discussion. Professor TOKUNAGA Tomochika, Project Implementation Supervisor, made opening remarks followed by the video on the activities in this academic year and reports on the results of the Seminar on Environmental Systems.
*The GSFS has an alliance and collaboration agreement with Shinchi Town.
In the presentation, "Current Assessment of Wind Power Generation Potential in Shinchi Town, Fukushima," the feasibility of wind power generation in Shinchi Town was explained. The wind is weak in and around Shinchi Town all through the year. Therefore, small windmills are suitable. They calculated how much power could be generated if a small-size windmill, 8 m in height with blades of 4 m diameter, is installed per residential area. The result showed that 1.4 million kWh, approximately 10% of the town's annual gross power consumption, can be generated. The issues to solve are the cost of windmills and their installation and the lack of wind in summer and fall. Solar power generation to supplement those seasons was suggested for the latter issue.
The following presentation was "Analysis of Public Transportation Issues in Shinchi Town." This study aims to meet the transportation demands of Shinchi Town residents in an eco-friendly way. Currently, the town's public transportation system Shin-chan-GO serves commuters in the morning and evening and people visiting hospitals during the daytime. On the other hand, the number of registered cars in the town is about the same as the town's population. Therefore, they set goals to shift from private vehicles to public transportation and from gasoline cars to EVs to mitigate CO2 emissions. If users of Shin-chan-GO double, the CO2 emissions can be reduced by 6%. In addition, 10% can be reduced by changing Shin-chan-GO's route. The issues are how to secure the fund and drivers. Therefore, uncovering the transportation demands is essential.
After Mejiro University, one of the joint research project partners, reported their activities, the outcome report of Internship on Environment Systems was made. The study compared the Fukushima Prefecture's solar sharing (agrivoltaics) and Chinese solar power generation for agriculture. The cost of the Chinese system is lower by 15%, but both systems will need at least ten years to return to profitability. Moreover, the calculation result suggested that considering the shading ratio per crop, solar systems on only 10% of the arable land in the town are enough to satisfy the town's power demands.
Finally, the chief of the Planning and Promotion Section of Shinchi Town gave his comments:
"We need to consider the landscapes in the mountainside and fishery in the seaside areas to install windmills. However, small-sized windmills may be possible. Regarding public transportation, we will consider EVs according to profitability."
The meeting was meaningful both for the people of Shinchi Town and GSFS students.