The outlook for Japan's offshore wind sector looks positive as the country’s capacity is projected to reach upwards of 4 gigawatts (GW) in 2028, a 62-fold increase from last year, new research from Wood Mackenzie showed on Thursday.
As nuclear power falls out of favor in the aftermath of 2011’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, Japan has struggled to bring its nuclear reactors back on the grid.
Only nine reactors have successfully come online, bringing operational capacity to 9 GW last year.
"Japan will face a power generation shortfall of more than 10 GW by 2030, as it struggles to restart 30 nuclear reactors to meet the national nuclear target of 20-22 percent of the national power mix," Wood Mackenzie stated.
Senior analyst Robert Liew in Wood Mackenzie said in light of the power shortfall, Japan will need to increase its coal imports, supported by renewable energy capacity.
"In terms of renewable energy, scale matters and offshore wind is at an advantage," Liew said.
Recognizing offshore wind's potential, Japan's largest utility Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) made several announcements last month regarding its ambitions for offshore wind power.
Liew stated the medium- to long-term outlook for offshore wind in Japan looks especially promising with TEPCO's involvement, and with new policy measures to support wind development.
"We expect Japan to emerge as a key offshore wind market in Asia," he concluded.
By Gulsen Cagatay