Japan to consider undersea cable projects for offshore wind power

Out-Law News | 19 Mar 2021 | 10:19 am |

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will consider plans to lay submarine power cables for offshore wind plants, which in total could cost1 trillion yen ($9.2 billion), according to Nikki.

It aims to expand domestic renewable energy projects. It is reported that the METI will form a commission of experts who will conclude with possible routes, costs and plans by summer.

The advisory committee of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy will discuss how to cover these costs, possibly through an increase in customers’ electricity bills.

One initial concept is laying energy-transmitting cables along the Pacific Ocean from Hokkaido in the north to the greater Tokyo region, which could cost less than cables on land.

I-Ching Tseng of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “As Japan has a current capacity of about 20 megawatts, to reach the goal of 45 gigawatts (GW) in 2040 means Japan is seeking to more than quadruple its offshore wind capacity.”

“We have been reporting on the proposed wind farms and the need for supporting infrastructures and electricity networks,” she said, “to reach the goal set by the Japanese government will mean substantial expansion of the sector and opportunities for both domestic and overseas investment.”

In December the Japanese government set targets of installing 10GW of offshore wind power by 2030 and 30-45GW by 2040 as part of plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 that Japan's prime minister Yoshihide Suga announced in October 2020.