Japan is set to develop between 30 GW and 45 GW of offshore wind power by the year 2040. This is expected to help the government reduce emissions and meet the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. In the shorter term, the government is targeting 10 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.
As per the Japanese government, the cost to generate electricity from offshore wind power is expected to become cheaper than that of thermal power by sometime between 2030 and 2035. The government expects the cost of electricity from offshore wind projects to be between 8 and 9 yen ($0.077-$0.087) per kWh over a 30-35 year period. A demonstration project is planned to be started next year. Further, the government will also require equipment from domestic suppliers to account for 60 per cent of a project. The government plans to provide various types of support for the industry including surveys on wind movements and geology of seabeds on which windmills will be installed to facilitate market entry by new operators
A legislation designed to promote offshore wind development was passed in 2018. In November 2020, Japan launched its first-ever auction for fixed bottom offshore wind projects within the country’s General Common Sea Area. The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) opened the auction for applications on November 27, 2020. The tender will remain open until May 27, 2021. This was Japan’s second offshore wind auction since the new Renewable Sea Area Utilization Law came into power in April 2019. The first auction was launched in June for the development of a floating offshore wind farm off Goto City, Nagasaki Prefecture.