Japan plans 45GW offshore wind power by 2040

Out-Law News | 23 Dec 2020 | 3:56 am | 1 min. read

Japan plans to install 30-45 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind power by 2040 as part of plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Japan's Offshore Wind Industry Vision was approved at a meeting between the government and the offshore wind industry in Japan. Officials from the National Institute for Land and Infrastructure Mangement (MLIT) and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) attended.

The Japanese government has set  targets of installing 10GW of offshore wind power by 2030 and 30-45GW by 2040. It will lower the cost of power generation using wind facilities fixed to the seabed to 8-9 yen per kilowatt-hour by 2030-35. The government will require equipment from domestic suppliers to account for 60% of a project. All the targets are based on approved projects under current feed-in-tariff (FIT) Act.

The government plans to be involved from the planning stages of projects, and a demonstration project will start next year.

Japan's prime minister Yoshihide Suga said in October that Japan would aim for carbon-neutrality by 2050.

Infrastructure expert I-Ching Tseng at Pinsent Masons, the firm behind Out-Law, said: "As the world looks to energy sources that are sustainable and that take in climate risks, Japan’s ambitious move towards carbon neutrality and its plans to build offshore wind farms are encouraging. Of course, Japan has to plan for many challenges and the journey won’t be simple."

"It is likely that Japan will need floating platforms for a majority of the sites because of its deep coastal waters as well as turbines that can withstand earthquakes and typhoons. It will also need to forge a model towards cost competitiveness; reduce its high feed-in-tariffs while simultaneously maintaining the interests of developers; create the right infrastructure policies and ensurs that the transmission grid can cope with the substantial growth in wind powers."

"These challenges are not insurmountable, and Japan can learn from the lessons from markets such as Denmark, the UK, and Taiwan. Japan has reasons to be optimistic," she said.