POWER UTILITY | Staff Reporter, Japan

Japan's offshore wind sector is "hugely understimated and unutilised"

No thanks to slow development in the last 5 years.

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis sees a 2GW increase in Japan's onshore wind capacity to reach 5GW by FY2030. 

This will result in onshore wind producing about 10TWh in that year, a still very minor 1.1% of generation because of current long delays in achieving planning and local approval.

"The real opportunity for Japan here lies in offshore wind, a huge potential resource that is currently not utilized and has been hugely underestimated by the market, given the slow pace of onshore wind development over the past five years," it said in the report.

Here's more from IEEFA:

The absence of land constraints and the inherent high utilization rates of wind-powered generation are all in offshore wind’s favour and will ultimately allow offshore wind to contribute to baseload generation.

IEEFA has modelled 10GW of offshore wind in Japan by FY2030, dependent on the necessary policy progress and removal of regulatory barriers. IEEFA places far less emphasis on capacity expansions of hydro, geothermal, energy from waste and biomass, which jointly increase from 13% of the generation mix at present to 16% by 2030, largely as a result of reduced electricity demand.

Hydro capacity expansion is limited by a lack of further site opportunities while geothermal is limited by the fact that most potential new sites are in national parks. Our model does include an expansion of biomass capacity.

Japan’s biggest electricity wholesaler, J-Power, has recently stated it will expand the use of biomass in order to meet its emissions targets.

J-Power intends to co-fire woody biomass with coal at its new Takehara plant, currently under construction.

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