The Japanese Government has initiated an auction process for a first round of bottom-fixed offshore windfarms
The initial auction invites developers to bid to build projects at four sites offshore Akita and Chiba prefectures and should deliver a total of 1.4 GW of capacity.
The auction process, which will run until 27 May 2021, is the first to target large-scale fixed-foundation projects via sites in four ‘promotion areas’: Noshiro, Mitane and Oga; Yurihonjo North; Yurihonjo South; and Choshi.
Responding to the launch of the auction process, Asia Wind Energy Association board member Edgare Kerkwijk told OWJ, “It is clear that the Japanese Government is executing on its promise to develop a robust offshore wind industry.
“With an ambitious goal of 45 GW of offshore wind by 2040, the Japanese Government has made a first step towards building a sizeable offshore wind industry with this auction for 1.4 GW.
“Japan’s new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, used his first policy speech at the Diet on 26 October 2020 to emphasise the country’s commitment to decarbonising its economy.
“In order to achieve this, Japan will need to make use of its vast offshore wind resources which are estimated to be over 200 GW.
“Other renewables such as onshore wind and solar are more difficult to develop on a large scale in Japan and they will play a smaller role helping Japan meet climate targets. Offshore wind will be the renewable energy of choice for Japan.”
To date, 15 sites have been selected by Japanese authorities in different regions and are in various stages of development. Subsequent projects are expected to be bottom-fixed windfarms relatively close to shore, with larger-scale floating wind projects anticipated in due course.