Speaking at a press conference, Jin Kato, president of the JWPA said “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.”
At present true offshore wind capacity constitutes just a small portion of the nationwide energy supply although the passage of the Offshore Wind Power Promotion Act in 2019, is now being used to help increase awareness and development in the field.
“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,” Kato added, in part alluding to Japan’s post-2011 aversion to all things nuclear energy in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.
At present a number of primarily European developers are looking at programs in the seas off Japan near Chiba prefecture to the immediate east of Tokyo, in addition to areas further north in the Sea of Japan, off Akita prefecture.
This is in part the result of an extension being applied to offshore construction and operation licences and local FiTs (feed in tariffs) – at higher levels than other nations in the region.
Kato also mentioned that the national government should be behind longer-term ambitions to generate wind power offshore, including the establishment of crucial local supply chains and industry networking.