Japan prioritises offshore wind on its path to carbon neutrality
16 December 2020
Japan plans to install as much as 45 GW of offshore wind by 2040 as the government aims to reduce carbon emissions and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The announcement, which followed a discussion by the Public-Private Council held on 15 December, follows recent decarbonization announcements in the UK and the Baltic countries and represents the country’s strongest indication yet regarding its offshore wind targets.
Raizo Kobayashi, an RCG Associate based in Tokyo, notes that Japan’s plan calls for the establishment of near-term targets, including 10 GW by 2030 and up to 45 GW by 2040.
Japan, which has lagged behind offshore wind market leaders like China, South Korea and Taiwan, has made significant strides within the past year in an effort to close the offshore wind gap. For example, Japan held its first offshore wind competitive auction in 2020 after legally formalizing the auction process in 2019. He also points out that the government aims to increase the domestic share of wind power to 60% by 2040, and to reduce the cost of power generation to 8 and 9 JPY/kWh in the next 30 to 35 years.
According to Kobayashi, Japan is considering floating wind, which moors turbines to anchor lines in the seabed in waters deeper than 60 metres.
Nonetheless, he explains that a significant reduction in the cost of floating wind technology must occur if the country is to achieve the 45 GW target.
“The development of next-generation technologies surrounding floating wind is expected to be carried out with the realisation of a ‘technology development roadmap’ by the end of this fiscal year and a 2 trillion JPY fund to support research and development toward decarbonisation.”