Starting from next fiscal year, the Ministry of the Environment will conduct a verification test to examine using renewable energy generated at Self-Defense Forces facilities to meet the electricity needs on Japan’s easternmost island of Minamitorishima in Tokyo’s Ogasawara Village, the Sankei Shimbun learned on Sept. 24. The ministry will earmark 350 million yen for expenses related to the project in its budgetary request for next fiscal year’s budget.
Currently, the island’s electricity is provided through diesel power generation, and the aim of the project is to achieve electricity self-sufficiency on the island and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The project will set up power generation facilities and storage batteries that use renewable sources, such as solar power, and look into the practicability of such a framework on this isolated island located about 1,800 kilometers from Japan’s main island of Honshu.
About 20 people are stationed on the island, including members of the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Minamitorishima Air Dispatch Unit. The SDF personnel are in charge of maintaining and managing the runway on the island and refueling SDF aircraft. Currently, the 500 kiloliters of diesel oil needed annually for power generation is transported to the island by ship.