Japan to set rules for offshore wind power generation


The government plans to set rules to promote wind power generation, which emits only a small amount of carbon dioxide, in Japanese waters, sources said Tuesday.

The rules will be specified in a bill the government plans to submit to the Diet during an ordinary session set to start on Jan. 22.

The government hopes to reduce the cost of offshore wind power generation, currently at some ¥36 per kilowatt-hour, which is three to six times higher than in Europe.

Japan has no unified rules for such offshore operations, making it difficult for entities hoping to start wind power generation to settle negotiations with stakeholders, including the shipping and fisheries industries.

The planned bill will clarify required procedures. The government will first draw up a basic policy, and the industry and transport ministries will then designate areas to be promoted for wind power operations, taking opinions from local residents into consideration.

After those steps are taken, the government will invite and select candidate operators that will use the areas for a long period, the sources said.

The government aims to increase the share of renewable energy to 22-24 percent of all electricity sources in Japan by fiscal 2030, from about 15 percent in fiscal 2016, which ended in March last year.