Antonia Calderon


Alternative Energy Development in Japan

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Alternative Energy

Japan is a densely populated country, and that makes the Japanese market more difficult compared with other markets. If we utilize the possibilities of near-shore installations or even offshore installations in the future, that will give us the possibility of continued use of wind energy. If we go offshore, it’s more expensive because the construction of foundations is expensive. But often the wind is stronger offshore, and that can offset the higher costs. We’re getting more and more competitive with our equipment. The priceóif you measure it per kilowatt-hour producedóis going lower, due to the fact that turbines are getting more efficient. So we’re creating increased interest in wind energy. If you compare it to other renewable energy sources, the wind is by far the most competitive today. If we’re able to utilize sites close to the sea or at sea with good wind machines, then the price per kilowatt-hour is competitive against other sources of energy, go the words of Svend Sigaard, who happens to be president and CEO of the world’s largest wind turbine maker, Vestas wind systems out of Denmark. Vestas is heavily involved in investments of capital into helping Japan expand its wind turbine power generating capacity. It is seeking to get offshore installations put into place in a nation that it says is ready for the fruits of investment into alternative energy research and development. 

The Japanese know that they cannot become subservient to the energy supply dictates of foreign nationsóWorld War II taught them that, as the US decimated their oil supply lines and crippled their military machine. They need to produce energy of their own, and they being an isolated island nation with few natural resources that are conducive to energy production as it is defined now are very open to foreign investment and foreign development as well as the prospect of technological innovation that can make them independent. Allowing corporations such as Vestas to get the nation running on more wind-produced energy is a step in the right direction for the Japanese people. 

The production of energy through what is known as micro hydroelectric power plants has also been catching on in Japan. Japan has myriad rivers and mountain streams, and these are ideally suited places for the putting up of micro hydroelectric power plants, which are defined by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization as power plants run by water which have a maximum output of 100 kilowatts or less. By comparison, ìminihydroelectricî power plants can put out up to 1000 kilowatts of electrical energy. 

In Japan, the small-scaled mini- and micro-hydro electric power plants have been regarded for a considerable time as being suitable for creating electricity in mountainous regions, but they have through refinement come to be regarded as excellent for Japanese cities as well. Kawasaki City Waterworks, Japan Natural Energy Company, and Tokyo Electric Power Company have all been involved in the development of small-scale hydroelectric power plants within Japanese cities. 

Exploring Nature with Your Child, In Your Own Backyard

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Nature

Backyards, they are where individuals of all ages go to relax and have fun. While many people enjoy being in their backyards, they are not the only ones. In fact, when you are in your backyard, you are rarely ever alone. At any given time, your backyard is filled with amazing, living things. If you are the parent of a young child, you may want to use this opportunity to explore nature with them. Not only will it be a fun experience, but it will also be a learning experience.  

Birds are just a few of the many animals that can be found in your backyard. There is a good chance that a large number of different birds will make their way into your yard, especially if you have a bird feeder.  One of the many reasons why bird watching is fun is because of all the birds that you will see.  In addition to just watching these birds, you may to document what your child sees.  

To turn bird watching into an educational experience, you will need to purchase a few supplies. These supplies may include a bird watching book, a notebook, and a camera. Notebooks and cameras are optional; however, they are a great way to document the birds that enter your yard. While a notebook and a camera are optional, you may seriously want to consider purchasing a bird watching book.  Many book stores carry a large selection of bird watching books, including those for children.  A bird watching book is essential when incorporating education into this fun backyard activity.

As previously mentioned, birds are just a few of the many living creatures that can be found in your backyard. You and your child should also be able to find a large number of different bugs and insects. As with bird watching, you may want to study and examine some of these insects. By visiting your local book store or by shopping online, you should be able to find a number of insect resource guides or books that are designed especially for children.

What is nice about most bugs and insects is that you donít just have to look at them. A number of bugs and insects can live in small containers. If your child not only wants to see an insect up-close but see how they go about their daily activities, they should be able to that with the right supplies. Most retail stores, including science stores, toy stores, and traditional department stores, should have a wide variety of different insect catching supplies. These supplies may include but are not be limited to, small cages, breathable containers, and butterfly nets.

Many children are aware of the fact that bugs and birds are living animals, but many do not know that plants and flowers are also living. For that reason, you may want to teach them about plants and flowers. Depending on when your backyard was lasted mowed, you should be able to find a number of different plants and flowers.  As with most other living things, you should also be able to purchase books and resource guides that cover common plants and flowers. You and your child may have fun comparing the plants and flowers in your backyard to those in their books. 

It is amazing what you can find in your own backyard. While you may not give any thought to the plants, flowers, bugs, or birds that can be found in your backyard, your child will likely be impressed with them.  For a fun, but educational experience, you and your child are encouraged to get outside and see everything that nature has to offer.