Japan aims for 10 GW offshore wind energy capacity by 2030

The Japan Wind Power Association said Thursday it aims to expand the country’s installed offshore wind power capacity to 10 gigawatts (GW) in 2030 and 30-45 GW in 2040.

Offshore wind power currently provides only a small fraction of Japan’s electricity supply, but will grow after a law, the Offshore Wind Power Promotion Act, went into effect last year to stimulate development.

“Japan has enormous potential to build large-scale offshore wind farms, a potential of 128 GW for fixed bottom and 424 GW for floating wind,” said Jin Kato, president of JWPA, at a press conference.

“Nuclear power plants have struggled to restart, while Japan has decided to fade old coal-fired plants, and renewable energy is the only solution to fill a deficit of these energy sources,” said Kato.

Kato said the Japanese government should set ambitious long-term goals for offshore wind power generation, which can help attract investment, including foreign manufacturers of wind turbines and blades to build local supply chains. The government also needs to improve the network.

If the government’s wind power efforts are successful, Japan’s offshore wind power generation cost could drop to 8 yen ($ 0.076) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in early 2030, close to the current cost of 5 -6 yen / kWh in Europe, Kato said.

Japan’s Power Tariffs (FIT) and recently extended offshore wind licenses are attracting big names to Japan’s wind power sector.

Ørsted, the world’s largest offshore wind farm developer, together with Tokyo Electric Power Company, plans to submit a bid for a planned auction for an offshore wind project in Choshi, Chiba, near Tokyo.

German utility RWE and Kyushu Electric Power are considering a joint bid in a planned auction for a project off the coast of Yurihonjo city in Akita, northern Japan.