The development of wind energy is essential for Japan to reach its CO2 emissions targets and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Modern and cost-efficient wind turbines now contain sophisticated technology that works well with established power grids of all kinds, ranging from large transmission systems to isolated local grids. The establishment of “the Public-Private Council” which serves as a platform of discussion between the offshore wind industry and the central Government was extremely encouraging, as was the “Vision for Offshore Wind Power Industry” published by the Council setting an ambitious target to sanction 10GW of offshore wind projects by 2030 and 30-45GW by 2040. Now with the 1st round of auctions being closed and awaiting result announcements, the offshore wind markets in Japan are gaining momentum.
- Japan should facilitate the development of on-shore as well as off-shore wind farms by reducing unnecessary regulations that add to their cost and development time, especially in relation to environmental impact assessment requirements and cabotage rules.
- Japan should adopt and recognise internationally accepted certification standards and international accreditation for wind turbines and their componentry. This would increase both domestic and foreign direct investment, and support Japanese technology exports.
- Japan should establish a standard for compensation to fishermen, to ensure that subsidies for offshore wind power is used efficiently and transparently.
- Japan should focus on and officially support development in areas with good wind conditions and access to consumption centres to enable investors to build utility-scale wind farms.
- Since Japan's offshore wind potential is located in deeper waters, Japan should continue to play an active role in supporting the development of the floating offshore wind industry. As this is globally an emerging technology and industry, Japan can still position itself as an industrial hub (supply chain) for this industry. The focus should now shift from technology demonstration to cost improvements through changing the support focus to larger scale floating wind farms.
- Japan should introduce regulations for offshore wind development in the exclusive economic zones too, and not only for territorial water, since most of Japan offshore wind potential is located in the former.