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Electricity from snow? A Japanese city believes it can be done

Heat transfer system expected to be as efficient as solar and cleaner than wind

A tractor removes snow from the Sukayu Onsen hot springs resort in Aomori, Japan, where a proving test for snow power will be held in December.   © Kyodo

AOMORI, Japan -- The sun and the wind are the two natural phenomena most often harnessed for renewable energy, but one city in northern Japan believes it can tap an overlooked resource that it has in abundance: snow.

A proving test in the city of Aomori will begin next month and run through March. The city will conduct the test in cooperation with Forte, a local information technology startup, along with Tokyo's University of Electro-Communications.

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