Japan launches major offshore wind auctions

In a significant step towards the development of renewable energy, the Japanese government has launched a third round of auctions. The goal is to select developers for two new offshore wind energy areas in the northern region of Japan. Together, these areas have a combined capacity of 1.05 gigawatts (GW), marking a notable jump in Japan’s renewable energy production.

The first site, with a potential output of 600 megawatts (MW), is located off the southern coast of the Sea of Japan, near the city of Tsugaru and the city of Ajigasawa in Aomori Prefecture. The second site, with a capacity of 450 MW, is located off the coast of Yamagata Prefecture, near the city of Yuza. These sites, designated as “promotion areas” in October, are slated for fixed-bottom wind farm development and are expected to come online in the mid-2030s.

The winners of the auction will obtain the rights to use these maritime areas for a maximum of three decades. The auction process is scheduled to conclude on July 19, with the results expected to be announced in December.

This initiative aligns with Japan’s broader strategy to promote the development of offshore wind farms, contained in a 2019 law. The law aimed to support up to 10 GW of offshore wind project capacity by 2030 and a significant number of 30 to 45 GW by 2040. This points to Japan’s ambitious goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

These auctions mark an important milestone in Japan’s path towards renewable energy. They pave the way for greater diversification of energy sources, reducing the country’s dependence on fossil fuels. The move is expected to attract significant investments, contribute to Japan’s transition to sustainable energy and play a crucial role in the global fight against climate change.