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Demonstration project, Philippines. Credit: Challenergy

clean energy

New turbines work in typhoon winds

Japan experiences dozens of typhoons annually, and with climate change predicted to push this number higher, establishing a wind energy sector in the country is a challenging one.

But Japanese startup, Challenergy, is working to lead the way using innovative wind turbines that are capable of converting typhoon winds into renewable energy. The turbines use cylinders, rather than propellers, to allow them to operate in violent and rapidly changing winds, with the company’s Magnus turbines already having demonstrated they can generate electricity in extremely high winds: in 2020, during Typhoon Hagupit, they exceeded expectations.

Challenergy was launched a few years after Japan’s deadly 2011 earthquake, as a result of enigmatic CEO, Atsushi Shimizu’s epiphany that he should dedicate his life to developing turbines that could produce renewable energy from the dangerous winds battering the country.

Up until now solar has been the primary growth area for renewable power in Japan but with the island nation aiming to be climate neutral by 2050, Shimizu’s goal to ‘create a path to a sustainable power sector for future generations’ through new innovations like these is the type of ambition that will be needed.

The Challenergy turbines will be attractive to any country regularly hit by typhoon conditions and the Japanese company is currently carrying out tests in the Philippines.

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Written By

Susan is the co-founder of Innovators Magazine and a consultant for OnePoint5Media. Susan is also a member of the UNFCCC-led Resilience Frontiers Nexus group and the Chair of the APOPO Foundation UK board.


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