As its government seeks to move away from nuclear energy, wind power in Japan is surging in popularity, with a growing number of power utilities and heavy industrial manufacturers starting offshore turbine construction projects, reports Tomoya Fujita at the Asahi Shimbun. The Environment Ministry aims to increase Japan’s offshore wind power generation to 8.03 million kilowatts by 2030, equal to the electricity generated by eight nuclear power reactors, and projects for new or expanded wind farms are already under way around the country. Already, the company Windpower operates seven offshore Japanese made wind turbines, and expects to pay for itself within a decade or so. Several groups from Japanese municipalities and foreign governments visit each month to tour its energy facilities. Windpower and Marubeni Corp. plan to jointly build another, larger wind farm by 2017 and other Japanese companies have also gotten on board with offshore wind power. Many companies see offshore rather than land wind power generation as profitable because finding good sites is easier. Government initiatives, such as their new feed-in tariffs, have also spurred investment.
Offshore wind power generation in the spotlight in Japan. As the government seeks to move away from nuclear energy, wind power in Japan has seen a surge in popularity, with a growing number of power utilities and heavy industrial manufacturers starting offshore turbine construction projects. Tomoya Fujita Asahi Shimbun