Japan set to increase offshore wind generation capacity by 10GW by 2031

10 July 2020

In a major move towards low carbon energy production, the Japanese government has announced a major expansion of its offshore wind generating capacity this week.  The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) plans to approve three to four new offshore wind projects a year, starting in 2021.  This will add approximately 1 GW of generating capacity every year until 2031, a total of 10GW over 10 years.

The announcement comes at a time when Japan is trying to reduce its reliance on coal for electricity generation.  Earlier this month the government announced that it would shut down 100 of its oldest coal fired power stations by 2030.  However, coal is still envisaged by the government to supply 26 percent of the nation’s electricity in 2030, with newer, higher capacity coal-fired power stations generating this energy.


Japan has had a heavy reliance on coal since 2011, when the disaster at Tepco Fukushima No. 1 nuclear reactor led to the country’s nuclear power stations being left idle.  The government is now under pressure to look for low carbon alternatives to coal in a bid to meet global carbon reduction targets.  


Multiple offshore sites have already been identified, of which the most promising include two in the Sea of Japan off Aomori, and one off the coast of Akita, both in northern Japan, and one off the coast at Nagasaki in the south.


At OBM we view this as a good entry-point to the Japanese renewables market for technology and infrastructure providers in the low carbon energy sector.


If you are interested in developing your business this area, please feel free to contact us.