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Fri Oct 30, 2015, 06:54 AM

Japan has finally figured out what to do with its abandoned golf courses

Japan has finally figured out what to do with its abandoned golf courses

Ariel Schwartz, provided by
Published 9:14 am, Thursday, July 16, 2015

http://www.chron.com/technology/businessinsider/article/Japan-has-finally-figured-out-what-to-do-with-its-6388551.php
solar plant



<snip>

This is what's happening in Japan, where developers built too many golf courses over the last few decades after demand shot up in the 1980s. Now the industry is in decline, with participation in the sport down 40% from the 1990s, and abandoned golf courses are starting to pop up.

Kyocera's solution: turn the abandoned green space into solar farms. Japan has been hungry for alternative energy ever since the 2011 Fukushima disaster made nuclear power an unattractive option in the country, and golf courses just happen to be perfectly suited for solar power — they're large open spaces that often get lots of sunlight.

The golf course that will be turned into a 23 MW solar farm.

Kyocera's first project, now under construction, is a 23 megawatt solar plant on a golf course in Kyoto prefecture. When it goes live in 2017, the plant will produce enough power for about 8,100 households.

The company is also developing a 92 megawatt solar plant — generating enough energy for over 30,000 households — on an abandoned golf course in Kagoshima prefecture. No word on when that project will go live.

<snip>

59 replies, 7667 views

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Reply Japan has finally figured out what to do with its abandoned golf courses (Original post)
marble falls Oct 2015 OP
liberal N proud Oct 2015 #1
DetlefK Oct 2015 #3
Spitfire of ATJ Oct 2015 #52
kristopher Oct 2015 #4
Name removed Oct 2015 #22
liberal N proud Oct 2015 #23
Name removed Oct 2015 #25
liberal N proud Oct 2015 #33
Name removed Oct 2015 #39
haikugal Oct 2015 #29
ChisolmTrailDem Oct 2015 #30
icarusxat Oct 2015 #51
liberal N proud Oct 2015 #58
hunter Oct 2015 #59
Marty McGraw Oct 2015 #50
lonestarnot Oct 2015 #2
Arugula Latte Oct 2015 #35
lonestarnot Oct 2015 #56
lonestarnot Oct 2015 #57
dixiegrrrrl Oct 2015 #5
stonecutter357 Oct 2015 #6
dixiegrrrrl Oct 2015 #31
NV Whino Oct 2015 #21
passiveporcupine Oct 2015 #53
NV Whino Oct 2015 #55
KamaAina Oct 2015 #24
SoapBox Oct 2015 #7
KittyWampus Oct 2015 #8
LuvNewcastle Oct 2015 #13
Jesus Malverde Oct 2015 #19
Waldorf Oct 2015 #34
Blue_Tires Oct 2015 #9
Blue_Adept Oct 2015 #10
Blue_Tires Oct 2015 #14
Ilsa Oct 2015 #15
7962 Oct 2015 #17
AlbertCat Oct 2015 #20
Ilsa Oct 2015 #47
Locrian Oct 2015 #11
2naSalit Oct 2015 #26
NCTraveler Oct 2015 #36
Codeine Oct 2015 #42
Hortensis Oct 2015 #12
7962 Oct 2015 #18
LanternWaste Oct 2015 #28
GummyBearz Oct 2015 #38
7962 Oct 2015 #16
haikugal Oct 2015 #27
Codeine Oct 2015 #40
haikugal Oct 2015 #44
bvar22 Oct 2015 #45
haikugal Oct 2015 #46
yuiyoshida Oct 2015 #32
Liberal_in_LA Oct 2015 #37
Codeine Oct 2015 #43
Initech Oct 2015 #41
AngryAmish Oct 2015 #48
valerief Oct 2015 #49
nikto Oct 2015 #54

Response to marble falls (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 07:09 AM

1. They could have also let them return to their natural state

I am all for alternative energy including solar and this is a great application but they cut down countless trees, cleared forest for fairways. We need those forest as much as we need alternative energy.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 07:22 AM

3. Well, I see wilderness.

How many people will walk among those panels? A dozen technicians once a week on the whole golf-course? That's more than enough time for small game to return.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #3)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 09:21 PM

52. There are solar farms all over the desert. The shade provides a habitat for kinds of critters....

 

Spiders love them.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 07:29 AM

4. Japan is the most forested advanced country in the world.

Their forestry regime has been in place and extremely effective for over 200 years.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #1)


Response to Name removed (Reply #22)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 12:21 PM

23. I am pro-solar and alternative energy

But also pro-wilderness.

I think everyone misses a huge opportunity when it comes to solar. We have parking lots everywhere. When the sun shines, the cars sitting in those parking lots get hot.

Why not cover all our parking lots with solar panels, we get covered parking lots + solar energy.
?la=en

Bonus, electric car charging.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #23)


Response to Name removed (Reply #25)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 01:47 PM

33. I have been pushing this solution where I work for several years

Cost cutting corporate leadership says it cost too much.

Yet they want to proclaim our product is green because it has a very small amount of recycled content.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #33)


Response to liberal N proud (Reply #23)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 12:56 PM

29. Very good point...nt

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #23)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 12:57 PM

30. This right here, thank you LNP. Unimaginable untapped resource that goes to waste being

 

absorbed by concrete and ashpalt and creating localized heat islands in our cities and suburban landscapes. It also, obviously, provides shade for our vehicles, which is nice if you live in a place where it can get blazing hot inside a car.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #23)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 08:47 PM

51. Why don't we have more solar? Two words...

Koch Brothers,

Locally there are plenty more. Those who own the land and the resources that should rightfully belong to all of us...they block, and deceive and trick us into buying the lie that renewable energy just isn't feasible...

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Response to icarusxat (Reply #51)

Sat Oct 31, 2015, 10:53 AM

58. Yep

That and mass transit

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #23)

Sat Oct 31, 2015, 01:42 PM

59. That's my perspective.

Put solar over parking lots, factories, toxic waste dumps, and other "developed" and destroyed landscapes.

Restore to nature the golf courses.

I seriously think golf would be a much more interesting game if it coexisted with the natural environment of a place.

18 greens, synthetic if necessary, and very, very, gently managed wilderness in between.

It works for Frisbee golf.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 07:25 PM

50. Feel the same way


I don't mind the ones out in the arid wastelands of a dessert though. In fact I would think there can be used as a little bit of a respite of the sparse inhabitants.

Also, wouldn't it be cool if truck trailers & transport containers (like the detachable types that go on trucks or rail) be covered in 'em?

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 07:20 AM

2. Golf... hmmmmf.

 

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Response to lonestarnot (Reply #2)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 02:22 PM

35. Yeah. It's in sharp decline here, too, which I consider a great trend.

 

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #35)

Sat Oct 31, 2015, 09:27 AM

56. Thanks for the links.

 

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #35)

Sat Oct 31, 2015, 09:32 AM

57. Forbes editor must have been asleep at the wheel to let someone get that in.

 

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 08:04 AM

5. California, are ya listening? n/t

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #5)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 08:23 AM

6. The hell that would be raised if we did this in Alabama.

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Response to stonecutter357 (Reply #6)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 01:16 PM

31. The Robert Trent Jones solar power grid...has a nice ring to it.

God knows we get enough sun that solar would be ideal.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #5)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 10:57 AM

21. Well, one of my clients put panels on a tennis court he never used.

Now, if we could only get SoCal to cover the swimming pools….

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Response to NV Whino (Reply #21)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 10:17 PM

53. Or if all open irrigation canals and waterways

were covered with solar. Hmmmm..

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Response to passiveporcupine (Reply #53)

Sat Oct 31, 2015, 12:47 AM

55. That should be the top priority in my opinion.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #5)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 12:29 PM

24. We are about to have an abandoned golf course in San Jose.

 

But, natch, they're thinking of selling the land to greedy developers.

http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_28941276/san-jose-weighs-closing-a-golf-course-to-stem-financial-losses

San Jose's two newest golf courses are likely to remain money-losers for years to come, according to a new city audit that cited their high debt costs and the game's fading popularity and suggested selling all or part of one or turning some links into soccer, softball or baseball fields.

San Jose built the two courses, Rancho del Pueblo and Los Lagos, early last decade amid bullish predictions about the sport's growth. But they've never earned enough to cover operating and debt costs, draining more than $2 million from the city each year to subsidize them....

That means City Hall is going to have to make some tough decisions about the future of its public golf courses. The auditor's report outlines a few choices: The city could sell a portion of the golf course lands to pay off their debt, reconfigure the land for a soccer, softball or baseball fields, or keep all three courses open and try to reduce annual losses by boosting usage....

This isn't the first time San Jose has tried to rid itself of the money-bleeding golf courses. A 2011 effort to sell part of Rancho del Pueblo and build condos was met with sharp criticism, public outcry and an ugly political fight. But if the city chooses to close a golf course this time around, the auditor suggests a community engagement process.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 08:24 AM

7. Mr. Boner must be so upset...

Oh well.

I think it's brilliant.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 08:25 AM

8. wouldn't it be more efficient to have each household producing its own energy?

 

Rather than gathering it in these "farms" take take up a lot of square acreage?

Isn't energy and fuel production most efficient when produced as close to where it's consumed as possible?

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #8)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 08:52 AM

13. Shhhhhh!

Get it through your head. Energy is a commodity that must be sold and bought and traded.

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Response to LuvNewcastle (Reply #13)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 09:36 AM

19. The other dirty secret

Taxed, energy companies pass on billions in taxes to government. Same with the gas tax, there is a perverse incentive for the government not to let people go off the grid or fossil fuel.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #8)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 01:50 PM

34. I looked into getting solar for my house. I live in Texas and it was expensive compared to other

States (I'm sure the energy companies have some say in this). It was $20k for the energy I required. In some solar friendly States the same energy requirement was about $5k. If I was younger I might go for it but as of now I probably will be dead before my costs savings equal the investment.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 08:28 AM

9. This is going to be a dumb question...

But shouldn't the panels be as flat as possible for maximum sunlight exposure?

And wouldn't those trees closest to the panels have to be cut down?

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #9)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 08:34 AM

10. I've never seen flat solar panels laid out

We've got a ton of roadside ones here in MA along highways and everything is always angled, though part of that is obviously for snow related reasons.

http://www.solarchoice.net.au/blog/flat-solar-panels-vs-tilted

"One other thing to keep in mind if your panels are horizontal is that they will not self-clean as effectively as panels at a tilt – dust has a higher chance of accumulating and impeding electricity production. The drop in performance due to dust accumulation on panels is roughly between 5% and 10%. On the other hand, solar panel arrays tilted at an angle – even a slight angle – are more likely to be washed clean when it rains."

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Response to Blue_Adept (Reply #10)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 09:03 AM

14. ok...I was thinking about the roof solar panels

and I realized even though they're "flat", they are on the steep incline of the roof, also...

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #9)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 09:03 AM

15. Another dumb question: Would the arc

of the sun's path, relative to that area, be a factor, along with seasonal variations in the amount of sunny vs cloudy days? Do the solar cells need a more direct "hit"?

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #15)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 09:28 AM

17. Some systems move with the sun, others face north/south,

 

to get the full day swinging across the panel. There are several different ways to do them, with varying degrees of cost

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Response to 7962 (Reply #17)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 09:57 AM

20. Some systems move with the sun,

 

Just like leaves on some plants.

The sun in only really directly overhead on the equator. In the winter months it skims the horizon more and more as you reach the solstice. In this hemisphere, it depends on how far north you are as to how low it gets.

Japan's kinda north-ish so the sun will always be to the south a bit.


C'mon.... you remember this from High School science!

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #20)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 04:46 PM

47. That's what had occurred to me:

That Japan would have a more southerly arc, hence the panels would be slanted a bit towards the south for more direct exposure.

I just wasn't sure how the panels worked with the aggregation of cells.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 08:38 AM

11. is that a photoshop?

Can't find much on whether this is a mockup or real. There has to be a better method (not that I like golf). Why not solar panel on *every* roof top?

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Response to Locrian (Reply #11)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 12:39 PM

26. Yep, point-source

power generation would be the best way to deal with the issue rather than covering vast areas of land. It would also facilitate the end of major power "outages" from storms and other glitches.

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Response to Locrian (Reply #11)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 02:29 PM

36. "Why not solar panel on *every* roof top?"

 

You wouldn't be able to trade it as a commodity or tax it at that point. Don't get me wrong, I believe it is what we should be doing.

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Response to Locrian (Reply #11)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 02:54 PM

42. Yeah, that's just a digital image. nt

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 08:39 AM

12. Hmmm. The U.S. has been closing more courses than opening

new ones for several years now. (A problem for a friend who designs them.) Golfing itself has been declining for a number of reasons, including that young people just aren't into it. Some of those courses seemingly "winding through" subdivisions don't actually belong to the subdivision. When the subdivision does own it, economic downturns occur, owners and buyers lose interest, homes don't sell well because of the maintenance costs, and the course becomes a liability.

Anyway, anyone interested in free electricity? I could see both nature preserve and self-sustaining neighborhood surrounding it.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #12)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 09:31 AM

18. Golf costs too damn much. nt

 

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Response to 7962 (Reply #18)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 12:50 PM

28. I dunno... most muni courses in my area (north central Texas) range from $12 to $30

I dunno... most muni courses in my area (north central Texas) range from $12.00 to $30.00 for a full eighteen holes, and about a dollar a ball give or take (and even a crappy golfer like myself rarely uses more than three). My set of used clubs (4 woods, 4 irons and bag) was a one time cost of $25.00.

Relative to many other weekend experiences (movies, dining, amusement parks, etc.), gold isn't really too expensive.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #28)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 02:47 PM

38. Gold is pretty expensive

 

But it should cost a lot more. There is manipulation going on.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 09:25 AM

16. very cool idea! nt

 

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 12:47 PM

27. I like this but I have a question..

How are they keeping the growing things around those panels suppressed...it's all brown around the panels...I hope they aren't spraying poison...

??

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Response to haikugal (Reply #27)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 02:53 PM

40. That's a digital image. nt

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Response to Codeine (Reply #40)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 03:03 PM

44. Yeah, I realized that after reading the thread...Thanks Codeine

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Response to haikugal (Reply #27)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 04:08 PM

45. I had the same immediate question.

If I did that around here, you wouldn't be able to see the panels after June.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #45)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 04:44 PM

46. Yeah..nature is rampant here as well.

I wonder if those golf courses would better serve if farmed. Japan doesn't have huge amounts of land.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 01:30 PM

32. sugoii!

a good idea.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 02:36 PM

37. Weird. Are the panels elevated so animals can move underneath?

 

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #37)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 02:55 PM

43. They almost certainly would be.

Currently that's a photoshop

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 02:53 PM

41. Use George Carlin's idea and turn them into homeless shelters!

Just throwing that suggestion out there!

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 04:58 PM

48. I guy I know had his first course turned into a hop farm

 

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 06:59 PM

49. Now, that's beautiful. nt

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 10:21 PM

54. Another plus for Solar: It doesn't attract Godzilla

 

With Solar, this will not happen ...

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