Kitakyushu Smart community Project

Latest City of Kitakyushu news items

Presentation on performance over a five-year period held in Tokyo

Kitakyushu Smart Community Creation Project, which started in 2010, is approaching its final fiscal year. What effects did this technical verification have, and what were the participants' impressions? Kitakyushu held a results presentation in Tokyo on February 23, 2015. The business owners that led the technical verification project reported on the results of the dynamic pricing and energy management system (EMS), in which energy units fluctuate according to demand and supply conditions, while consumers engaged in lively debates during roundtable discussions.

Project Results According to Consumers and Promoters

With the Kitakyushu Smart Community Creation Project in its last fiscal year, the installed devices and systems have entered their final evaluation stage. The nature of the results and knowledge obtained from the verification project and the course of future development are becoming clear. Given this, let's take a look at some of the results obtained on the consumer side, according to a roundtable discussion among consumers who actually participated in the verification experiments. We also asked the project's leader, who has been involved from the master plan stage through the current project, to what degree the initial objectives have been achieved and how he feels about the project's future growth.

Insider Report on Kokosuma Tours of the Smart Community

The Kitakyushu Smart Community Creation Project's "Kokosuma Tours" allow visitors to tour the project's experimental facilities in the Higashida District of Yahatahigashi Ward in Kitakyushu City, and are drawing huge crowds. Although they are not free, the tours are being conducted almost every day and have attracted approximately 5,000 participants so far from both inside and outside Japan. The secret to the tours' popularity lies in the fact that visitors can tour the entire community in a short amount of time, including the Smart Community Center and consumer initiatives, a hydrogen station, community-installed storage batteries, smart houses, and other features that comprise the Smart Community, and also learn about Kitakyushu City and the companies participating in the verification experiments directly.

Regional information

Name of city City of Kitakyushu
Area 488.78km2(as of October 2011)
Population 971,924 (estimated as of August 2012)
Locations for operational experiments The Higashida area in Yahata-Higashi ward
Area covered by the operational experiments Approximately 1.2km2
Number of households involved in the operational experiments 225 households (as of August 2012)
Number of workplaces involved in the operational experiments 50 (as of August 2012)
Number of smart meters installed 225 (as of August 2012)
Level of introduction of photovoltaic generation, etc. Storage batteries: Approximately 800 kW; Photovoltaic (PV): Approximately 400 kW; Fuel cells: Approximately 110 kW

About the city

The City of Kitakyushu is a government-designated city located at the Northeast tip of the Kyushu area, with a population of more than 970,000 people. Following the construction of the Yawata Steel Works in 1901, the City of Kitakyushu developed as a center of heavy and chemical industry, but in the 1960s the city faced problems of air pollution and contamination of the waters of Dokai Bay. Having overcome its various problems by means of measures to respond to and prevent pollution, the city is now making efforts to tackle environmental problems. In the Higashida area of Yahata-Higashi ward, the site of the operational experiments and of the Yawata Steel Works, the city is proceeding with the development of a new city district on unused land. In addition to other attractions, this area encompasses Space World, with its theme of outer space, and a large-scale shopping center. A center for international logistics, in the new district the City of Kitakyushu is pushing ahead with the establishment of a variety of new energy distribution infrastructure, for example for the supply of energy produced by natural gas cogeneration by means of the steelworks' transmission network, and the supply of hydrogen produced by the steelworks by pipeline to areas within the district.

Overview of the project

Sketching a vision of the optimum form for community energy management, the project will seek to create the appropriate social structures for a low-carbon society by innovating lifestyles, business styles, and urban planning styles. By means of the establishment and operation of a customer energy management system called Smart Community Center or the Community "Setsuden-sho," we aim to establish mechanisms for citizens and companies to think about and participate in the process of energy distribution. We believe that making energy use visible can encourage change in lifestyles and business styles. In addition, other initiatives will include preparation for the large-scale introduction of next-generation vehicles and their linkage with public transport. The outcomes of the operational experiments in the Higashida area will be extended to other areas of the City of Kitakyushu, for example the Jono district in Kokurakita ward (approximately 20 km2 in area), which is being newly developed, and from there to the rest of Japan and the world.

Project orientation

Due to factors including the establishment of environmental facilities and the introduction of a range of new energy sources, the Higashida area in Yahata-Higashi ward of the City of Kitakyushu already emits 30% less CO2 than other areas in the city. This proving trial aims, by means of initiatives including further introduction of new energies, the use of community energy management, and the establishment of new transport systems, to achieve a further 20% reduction, reducing CO2 emissions to more than 50% less than other areas in the city. The following five measures are being put into effect as the concrete means of achieving this goal.

(1) Increase the rate of introduction of new energy sources, including photovoltaic generation, fuel cells, and small-scale wind power generation, to 10% or more
(2) Development of HEMS and BEMS, which can be coordinated with community energy management, increasing the efficiency of energy saving in normal homes and various types of buildings
(3) Establishment of a Community Setsuden-sho, which provides advanced energy control and optimizes total energy distribution, encompassing electric vehicles (EV), storage batteries, etc.
(4) In parallel with the establishment of charging infrastructure to facilitate large-scale introduction of EV, etc., the construction of next-generation traffic systems linking bicycles and public transport.
(5) The extension of the new technological systems and business models emerging from the operational experiments to Asia via an Asia Low-carbon Center, and then to the world

Subjects of operational experiments

Photovoltaic generation, wind power generation, heat energy, hydrogen, CEMS, BEMS, HEMS, EV, "demand bus lifestyle," Data Center, networks

Participating companies and organizations (Only those directly involved in operational experiments)

Return to page top