More investment needed for Japan to meet wind power installation goals

Out-Law News | 11 Mar 2022 | 10:14 am | 1 min. read

Considerable investment will be needed if Japan is to meet its ambitious wind power generation targets, a renewables expert has said.

New figures from the Japan Wind Power Association (JWPA) showed that the country had installed almost 4.6 gigawatts (GW) capacity of wind power from 2,574 generating units as of end of 2021. Japan is targeting around 28GW of wind power capacity by 2030.

Japan installed 87 new wind turbines at 16 different sites totalling 221 megawatts (MW) capacity in 2021, a 28% reduction from the capacity added in 2020, according to the JWPA’s figures.

Renewables expert Karah Howard at Pinsent Masons said: “JWPA has set aggressive midterm installation goals of around 11 GW by 2020, and around 28GW by 2030 of around 28GW, with a ratio of 2% and 9% against total demand respectively. Given JWPA’s report of an actual installed capacity of 4.5GW by end 2021, considerable effort and investment will be required to achieve these targets, although the 700MW capacity operational capacity for 2022 and the announcement of four new projects for operation between 2028 and 2030 with operational capacity of 1.7GW, will undoubtedly assist.”

Japan currently has 700MW of onshore wind power projects under construction, which are expected to be operational in 2022. No new offshore wind turbines became operational in 2021 but there are two offshore wind farms under construction: the 55MW Akita Port and the 88MW Noshiro Port projects, both located in Akita prefecture. These are expected to begin operating in 2022.

The country has received bids for four general sea sites for a total capacity of 1.7GW, JWPA said. The Japanese government expects to approve sites with a total capacity of 10GW and operation to a capacity of 5.7GW by 2030.

In December 2020 the Japanese government set targets of installing 10GW of offshore wind power by 2030 and 45GW by 2040 as part of its plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.