Japan- Development of large offshore wind power systems

The Agency for Natural Resources and Energy under the Ministry of Economy and Industry intends to develop component technologies for very large offshore wind turbines of 5,000 kW class.

The offshore wind power-related budget for fiscal 2011 will be increased by 60% over the previous year, and 1,200 million from the budget will be allocated to this effort.

The Agency will start a new program of subsidizing 50% of the research and development cost incurred by private companies, research institutes and universities in such areas as improving the strength and reducing the weight of blades as well as reducing maintenance costs.

Although the wind turbines currently in use are mostly in the output range of 2,000-3,000 kW, wind turbines with foundations on the seabed exceeding 5,000 kW in output are being commercialized in the overseas wind farm market. To develop large systems, technologies to maintain the strength of large blades, weight reduction and advanced maintenance operations are required.