Offshore Wind Colloquium Brief No.2 - Current Status and Future of Japan’s Offshore Wind Power



The Offshore Wind Colloquium Brief provides a summary of the discussions from the ‘Colloquium for Sustainable Development of Offshore Wind Power.’ The colloquium serves as a platform covering various topics, bringing together relevant stakeholders to explore strategies for promoting and expanding offshore wind power in the Republic of Korea. This paper presents a summary of the discussions from the 2nd Colloquium in a question-and-answer format.

Executive Summary

Japan's offshore wind strategy focuses on a structured process, including zoning, local community acceptance, transparent councils, and balanced bidding criteria for price and feasibility.

The 2nd Offshore Wind Colloquium, jointly hosted and organized by Solutions for Our Climate, the Korea Environment Institute, and the Korea Wind Energy Industry Association, invited President Jin Kato of the Japan Wind Power Association (JWPA) to discuss the current status of Japan’s offshore wind deployment and its future plans. The JWPA comprises 549 member companies and organizations, including businesses, local governments, and insurance companies. The Colloquium featured President Jin Kato’s presentation, and the discussion session covered Japan’s legislative procedures related to offshore wind laws, the roles of central and local governments, council operation methods, and criteria for bidding evaluations.

- Japan introduced the Act on Promoting the Utilization of Sea Areas for the Development of Marine Renewable Energy Power Generation Facilities in 2019, mandating the bidding procedures for selecting project developers. The project sites and developers are selected through the three stages of Promising Zone designation, Promotion Zone designation, and bidding. As of 2023, there are currently 8 Promotion Zones and 10 Promising Zones, with the bidding process completed at three locations. 

- In Japan, the degree of acceptance within local fishing communities is taken into account before selecting potential sites. Prior consultations with local communities take place when selecting Promising Zones. When designating Promotion Zones, public-private councils are established, enabling discussions among the central government, local governments, representatives of the fishing industry, and experts. Public-private councils are run in a transparent manner, with their meetings broadcasted and meeting minutes publicly disclosed.

- Another distinctive feature of Japan’s offshore wind is the emphasis on the role of the local governments. Before the central government designates Promising and Promotion Zones, it receives information about the potential candidate sites from local governments. The local authorities, prior to submitting such information to the central government, undergo agreements with local residents, including fisheries workers. 

- The current bidding criteria in Japan apply equal weights to price competitiveness and project feasibility (implementation capability and ripple effect on the local economy). The bidding criteria can be utilized as an effective policy tool that aligns with the direction and value pursued in the course of renewable energy development.

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