Japan seeks to boost offshore wind energy projects

Japan is preparing new rules and a support framework that seeks to boost offshore wind energy projects with wind turbines in 30 locations by the end of the next decade.

According to a study by the analysis firm GlobalData, the new policy plans three or four wind farm projects each year with a total generation capacity of one gigawatt (GW), from the fiscal year that begins in April 2021 to the period 2030- 2031

By the end of the decade, a total of 10 GW of potential generation sites is expected to be identified for further development, the research revealed.

Unlike the last bill passed in 2018, which identifies wind power development zones, this bill sets out clearer goals and objectives that help expand the sector, said GlobalData practice director Ankit Mathur.

Likewise, he added, a large sum of national capital is available to finance offshore wind energy projects which, combined with the implementation of the proposed legislation, may reinforce the future prospects of the generation sector through offshore wind.

According to Mathur, unlike other countries, Japan’s ability to design substantially superior onshore wind and solar power projects is limited, because the topography is not conducive to onshore projects.

Offshore wind energy presents a complementary approach to the country’s current dependence on photovoltaic solar energy to drive the energy transition towards renewable sources, he said.

In addition to the generous food rates available, Japan needs to severely shorten the five-year environmental assessment process to attract the sector’s competitiveness to take-off and attract global investors, he recommended.