As anticipated, Japan has launched its first auction for offshore wind, in the form of a small-scale floating offshore windfarm offshore Nagasaki at the southernmost tip of the country
In announcement on 24 June 2020, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) launched a process to build a 21-MW floating windfarm in what was the first promotion zone for offshore wind to be identified in the country’s waters.
Developers have until 24 December 2020 to bid to build the floating windfarm. A developer for the Goto floating wind project is expected to be selected by mid-2021.
More promotion zones are expected to be identified soon, mainly for bottom-fixed offshore wind.
Promotion zones are areas designated by prefectures that want to build offshore wind. Many are keen to do so because they recognise that, in addition to providing much-needed clean energy, doing so will have industrial and employment benefits in parts of Japan that are economically challenged.
Akita, Noshiro Mitane and Oga, and Akira Yurihonjo on the west coast and Chosi/Chiba on the east coast are regarded as the most promising and most likely to secure designated promotion zone status in the near-term, enabling further, larger-scale auctions to take place.
The Japanese Government is expected to auction 1 GW of offshore wind capacity a year from 2020 onwards, which translates into an ambitious target of 10 GW of projects auctioned by 2030.
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