Abandoned factories and houses seem mysterious and quite attractive to many. But what about abandoned golf courses? These vast expanses of open land have been wasting away in Japan but the Japanese have, in their own unique way, come up with a practical solution.
In the 80s, outdoor games were very famous in Japan and golf was a favorite. Developers saw the opportunity and kept clearing forests to create golf courses. But the new millennium proved all their calculations wrong. Sports participation saw a rapid decline from the previous decades and the golf courses were mostly abandoned.
In a country struggling to find alternative modes of clean energy, these courses offer varied options. Instead of using the land for development, Kyocera decided to turn these abandoned golf courses into solar energy farms. These courses were built in such a manner that they could receive ample amounts of sunlight throughout the year and the large stretches of land are perfect to row up thousands of solar panels.
The first project was in the Kyoto prefecture golf course. This 23mW solar plant went live in the year 2017 and started producing energy to fulfill the needs of over 8000 households. The other plant, a 92 mW one, expected to produce energy for nearly 30,000 households, is being constructed in Kagoshima prefecture.
Not just Japan, even in the United States, golf is being pushed down the favorites’ list. Mostly built in the suburbs, these golf courses can be revived as green areas or even as infill development. These large areas of open land can be developed in multiple ways to strengthen the local communities.
Japan once again leads in innovation and this time they are keen on reclaiming and reusing their abandoned golf courses to create energy. Sustainability is the future and we all have to embrace it.