Japan Considers Development of Exclusive Economic Zone for Wind Power Push

Japan is planning to expand offshore wind power generation beyond its territorial waters to its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as part of its drive to achieve carbon neutrality.

According to a Kyodo News report, experts who looked into the feasibility of building wind power facilities in the EEZ concluded that the project is achievable as long as Japan backs it with domestic law.

A number of nations, including Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands, already have offshore wind farms in their EEZs. In Asia Taiwan, China and South Korea are also stepping up their offshore wind power generation capabilities, and Australia and India will soon join the offshore wind club.

While Japan has traditionally relied on thermal power the global momentum toward decarbonisation means it needs to secure more energy from alternative sources such as renewables, which currently account for only a small portion of the nation’s energy mix.

Japan already has offshore wind turbines fixed to the seabed within its territorial waters. In the EEZ extending up to 200 nautical miles from the coastal baseline, where water is deep, floating wind turbines are seen as suitable.

The recent go-ahead by the government panel is a step forward in Japan’s future installation of offshore wind turbines in the EEZ but experts say it will likely take years for them to become operational.

By 2040, Japan is aiming to boost offshore wind power generation to 30 to 45 gigawatts, equivalent to roughly 45 nuclear reactors.

#offshorewind #decarbonisation #renewables