Japan wants to harness the energy of super typhoons to reach climate goals

The Japanese “Typoonshot” project aims to mitigate typhoon-related risks and harness their energy to help the country reach zero carbon emissions by 2050.

In the brand new Typhoon Science and Technology Research Center at Yokohama National University, researchers, analysts and experts are working together to find ways to reduce the damage typhoons cause and collect the massive amount of clean energy they generate.

While the project is only at the beginning, experts already consider many methods to achieve its goals. The first experiment they hope to conduct soon involves injecting large amounts of ice into the storm’s eye to reduce its overall pressure and intensity.

Another idea is to deploy a fleet of remote-controlled ships into a storm that gathers and stores energy from wind and undersea turbines. In fact, according to their estimation, the energy of a single powerful typhoon could meet the global demand for energy for an entire month!

Why does it matter? Today, mainland Japan is relatively safe from super typhoons. However, the country already suffers from “regular” typhoons, and climate change is likely to send more powerful ones in the years to come. Also, Japan’s access to energy sources is limited, and many worry about the country’s zero carbon emissions target by 2050.

Harnessing a super typhoon’s energy seems like a highly challenging task. However, success in such a game-changing endeavour would completely change how we see typhoons. Indeed, they would become a blessing rather than a threat.

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