The Japanese government will provide assistance to eight cities that were heavily damaged in last year's earthquake and tsunami to rebuild using "smart city" technologies that use IT to cut dependence on traditional power sources.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said it will provide a total of
Japan is investing heavily in infrastructure projects that seek to use advanced networking technology along with power grids to efficiently track and control electricity use. Such infrastructure, which includes Internet-connected power meters in homes, and giant electricity "routers" that control where power is sent, is considered a key building block before alternative energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines can be used on a large scale.
The project calls for the cities to come up with plans for using such technologies in their local communities, with budgets of at least
The island country has few natural resources of its own and has increasingly relied on nuclear power until last year's magnitude-9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunamis caused meltdowns at a key nuclear plant. Since then nearly all of the country's nuclear power reactors have been shut down for safety checks and many local communities are against starting them up again, leading to government-mandated blackouts to cut national electricity use.