IPP | Karen Mesina, Japan

Japan urged to repower old wind turbines to boost wind power

292 turbines will be "old" by 2034.

Japan's wind power market is currently among the smallest in Asia and the world. It is eyeing a 10GW wind power capacity in its energy mix plan come early 2020s and Japan Wind Power Association proposes a further 36.2GW by 2030.

In its announcement of the JWPA Wind Vision Report at the World Smart Energy Week 2016, Yoshino Ueda, general manager at JWPA, revealed that one of the biggest problems hampering Japan in positioning itself in the wind power market is its repowering negligence.

Old wind turbines, those that have been in operation or have operated for 20 years, are predicted to alarmingly increase in just less than 5 years. By 2020, these turbines will not be utilized at maximum despite a good number of them still standing at good wind conditions. 

Around 292 wind turbines will be considered old by 2034. "We must terminate old turbines and rebuild new large efficient ones," Ueda explained. "To create wind turbine repowering market, we have to organize the relative policies and rules."

Ueda enumerated that among the merits of repowering are accident prevention, improved power output, constant wind power installation, job creation in localities, and added demand for wind turbine industries.

Promotion of repowering is just one among JWPA's five-pronged proposal to boost wind power in Japan: reduce LCOE, improve grid infrastructure, promote repowering, promote offshore wind, and establish domestic supply chain. 

The World Smart Energy Week is happening from today until March 4, 2016 at Tokyo, Japan. The event gathers renowned experts of the smart and renewable energy business fields from across Japan and the world who will share the latest technology and industry trends. 

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