Introduction : Kazuyuki Tohji(Research Representative)


Energy has fundamentally guided the shape of human history.

Beginning with the exploitation of fire, and through the use of fossil fuels up to atomic energy, humanity’s energy use is intimately linked to the course of civilization. In times of crisis and transition especially, humanity feels the effect energy has in shaping the foundations and development of society. We can say that the March 11 Great Tohoku Earthquake and Fukushima nuclear accident disasters that we experienced have created for us such a turning point. A turn which guides us towards next-generation energy and energy control systems.

Up to this point, renewable energy has customarily been used for businesses or connections to the grid. But with large-scale energy delivery systems now reaching their limit, whether and how a new society will have energy production and control systems integrated into local communities remains a complete unknown. The question is how to incorporate novel next-generation energy and control systems into society in a way that drives Tohoku’s recovery and can penetrate into the whole of Japanese Society.

This project’s ultimate goal is that the policies and strategies created by a consortium of universities and local governments will lead to concrete, substantial contributions to recovery. I sincerely ask for your support and cooperation.

Current State of Affairs

The Great Tohoku Earthquake devastated the region. In addition to the seismic shocks and tsunami, fallout both directly from the Fukushima nuclear accident and the rumors swirling around it have substantially reduced Tohoku’s vitality. Under these circumstances, the strong will of Tohoku’s people is supporting the area’s reconstruction and recovery. As local authorities took their own recovery actions, Tohoku University, as the central academic institution of the region and under the leadership of the university’s president, set up its own recovery actions beginning immediately after the disaster. One of those actions is this Tohoku University Environmental Energy Project. Starting with the first disaster forum on June 17, 2011, just after the earthquake, the core institution of Tohoku University has held 7 disaster fora to evaluate the real conditions of stricken areas and consider recovery strategies. Furthermore, on November 17, together with Tohoku localities and universities nationwide, the Tohoku Recovery Clean Energy R&D Symposium was held addressing next-generation energy and its application.

Emerging from these fora, Tokyo University suggested the use of wave and tidal energy in Kuji, Iwate Prefecture and Shiogama, Miyagi Prefecture; the Tsukuba University and Tohoku University group put forth proposals for algae biofuels for Sendai; and furthermore the Tohoku University and Tokyo University group created a Biomass Town concept for Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture and proposals for geothermal energy in Osaki, Miyagi Prefecture. Architecture for an indispensable mobility-capable local energy control system was also laid out in a project that brought together plans for green energy. It was the start of the Next-generation Energies for Tohoku Recovery project. We aim to support the recovery of disaster-stricken areas with these renewable energy activities.

tohji kazuyuki

研究代表

田路和幸

Kazuyuki Tohji

東北大学大学院
環境科学研究科長
教授

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