Energy / Climate Change

October 25, 2008


METI Hokkaido Promoting Use of Alternative Energy Sources for Air Conditioning

Keywords: Government Local government Renewable Energy 

The Hokkaido branch of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI Hokkaido) published two brochures in April 2008 that included case examples of utilization of snow-ice-cryogenic energy, such as cold air generated from snow and ice, for chilling or air-conditioning. One of the brochures, "Cool Energy 4," introduces case examples of its use in Japan, while the other, "Model System of Small-Scale Utilization of Snow-Ice-Cryogenic Energy," introduces systems in use for cold storage of farm products and in cultivation. The bureau published 3,000 of each, and they are being distributed free of charge, while also being available on the METI Hokkaido website, where an excerpt from the Cool Energy 4 brochure is available in English.

Snow-ice-cryogenic energy is categorized as a new energy source under Japan's Law Concerning Special Measures to Promote the Use of New Energy (revised in 2002), and it is increasingly being introduced in various locations such as agricultural facilities, condominiums, and social welfare facilities.

Cryogenic technology easily supports an environment at low temperature, has high humidity stability, and is available at a reasonable cost. There are many merits related to its use, such as preserving the freshness of agricultural products, increasing their sugar concentration, as well as dehumidifying, removing dust, and deodorizing the air. On the other hand, the high cost of building snow storage and other such facilities still remains a challenge. The brochures introduce practical examples of using this energy on a relatively small scale to meet the various demands for cold energy.

METI Hokkaido is also considering issuing a certificate of green snow/ice energy, because its utilization and introduction is expected to increase once people see snow-ice-cryogenic energy used for air-conditioning at the International Media Center (IMO) during the Hokkaido Toyako Summit this year.

Snow Cooling System

Posted: 2008/10/25 06:10:24 PM