Japan’s offshore wind power generates interest in foreign companies

Japan’s offshore wind energy arouses a growing interest in foreign companies seeking opportunities in this market, a study by the GlobalData company said today.

The entity’s investigation reveals that the Japanese offshore wind power market currently represents 68 megawatts (MW), but there are potentials for 770 MW of capacity in four wind farm projects, all of which are in the permitting stage.

“The offshore wind turbines market in Japan, although currently in an incipient stage, shows more and more positive signals to investors and the recent joint venture between Canadian Energy Company Northland Power and Shizen Energy is a testament to this,” said the Director of Energy of GlobalData, Harminder Singh.

According to the Japanese Wind Energy Association, several foreign developers such as Ørsted, Equinor, wpd and CIP have established branches in the country, showing their intention to invest in this area of ??the Asian nation.

In January 2019, for example, Danish offshore wind energy company Ørsted signed a memorandum of understanding with Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to work together on offshore wind energy projects.

According to the analysis, Japan approved at the beginning of the year a law on the promotion of the use of territorial waters for renewable energy generation facilities on the high seas.

This was followed in July this year by the identification of 11 areas as potentially suitable for the development of offshore wind energy, in four of which the government will carry out geological measurements and studies.

“Global companies seek to be the first participants in the Japanese market to gain the advantage of being the first to move when the market begins to grow,” Singh said.

The official said that the German electric utility RWE, for example, signed a cooperation agreement with Kyuden Mirai Energy.

Also, the Nowegian Equinor energy company believes that because the waters are too deep in Japan, the availability of sites for fixed turbines at the bottom is low, the manager also said.

Therefore, he said, floating facilities could change the rules of the game in the country as the company estimates 3.5 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind potential in Japan by 2030.

According to GlobalData, marine wind capacity installed in Japan is expected to reach about 3.8 GW, which represents a staggering 33 percent of total wind capacity in the country by 2030.

Overall, the weather ahead seems exciting for offshore wind power in the country and developments in the coming years will be interesting to watch, Singh estimated.