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Japan Proposes Vision of 30GW Offshore Wind Power by 2040 to Achieve Carbon Neutrality

published: 2020-01-06 18:30

Japan has recently approved the <Offshore Wind Industry Vision for Japan> in the hope of achieving the target of carbon neutrality by 2050, and plans to install 30-45GW of offshore wind power by 2040.

Suga Yoshihide, Prime Minister of Japan, commented in late October that the country strives to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and aims to reduce carbon footprint to zero, though there will be a long journey ahead for that to happen according to the existing energy ratio of the country. Since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011, Japan has shut down multiple nuclear reactors, which instead has propelled the demand for fossil fuel, where the ratio for the overall supply of the particular energy had ascended from 81% in 2010 to 87% in 2017.

The industry, government, and university sectors have initiated actions accordingly, where the Japanese government not only plans to establish a fund worth JPY¥ 2 trillion, but rumor has it that the government is also planning in banning sales of general and lightweight fossil fuel vehicles by replacing all new vehicles in the market with electric vehicles, HEVs, PHEVs, and FCVs by around 2035.

Solar energy is an indispensable force for a further implementation in the development of renewable energy. Japanese business insiders and experts also pointed out that if the country wishes to achieve the target of carbon neutrality by 2050, the obsolete land utilization and specifications on the national power grid policy will have to be reformed to facilitate the development for renewable energy.

The Japanese government has recently stipulated the target of installing 10GW of offshore wind power by 2030, and aims to increase the capacity to 30-45GW by 2040. In order to lower the cost of fixed offshore wind power to JPY¥8-9/KWh between 2030 and 2035, the Japanese government is also planning to expedite the progress of localization, where the equipment from the local supply chain must occupy 60%.

Japan is expected to launch a demonstration power plant next year. I-Ching Tseng, infrastructure expert at Pinsent Masons LLP, commented that Japan deciding to implement the ambitious carbon neutrality program and gradually stipulating relevant planning as the world starts to emphasize on sustainability energy and climate risks will surely be significantly inspiring.

However, the process will not be easy, as most of the coastal waters of Japan are deep waters, and will have to sustain unpredictable earthquakes, as well as the increasingly fierce and frequent typhoons. Tseng commented that floating offshore wind power will be the focus of Japan in future development, and a competitive model will need to be established, such as the stipulating of FIT and the maintenance of profits for developers, as well as a constitution of an excellent infrastructure policy that ensures the endurance of the transmission and distribution cables for extensive incorporation of wind power.

 (Cover photo source: shutterstock)

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