Reader Mail

New ideas for wind farms

I’ve been reading your piece on Iki Island and its environmental problems (“The Climate Crisis: Emergency on Japan’s ‘lucky island’,” Jan. 5). It sounds idyllic: What a shame I don’t speak Japanese and am rather too old now to relocate.

Would it be possible, do your experts think, to design a wind turbine for offshore arrays that could suck seawater up to the top of the pylon and then spray it out as aerosol droplets of a predetermined size, to be dispersed by the rotation of the blades?

This would have the multiple effect of cooling the local atmosphere, inhibiting the formation of damaging cyclones and reducing the sea temperature, at the same time as the turbines were generating near carbon-free electricity.

In addition, a simple mechanism could be added to use the motion of the turbine blades to directly agitate the water below, a process known as “water brightening,” to increase both cooling and oxygenation, and to stir up a little eutrophying mud from the bottom, to encourage the regrowth of kelp beds (which can be seeded to speed the process), attracting marine life back to the area and possibly even providing the opportunity to farm the kelp for a human food crop.

Neither of these suggested processes needs more than to marginally reduce the energy output of the turbines. Both systems could potentially be retrofitted to existing offshore wind farms. It is of course possible that the seabed and water depth are not suited to placing wind turbines offshore of the islands; I am not an expert.

P. Ingrams
Aberystwyth, Wales

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

Coronavirus banner