Tuesday 27th September 2016                 Change text size:

Offshore wind crucial to Japan’s energy future, says Carbon Trust



Photo: phault via Flickr

Japan must accelerate the development of its wind sector in order to ensure a sustainable future and stop dependency on nuclear power and imported fossil fuels, according to a new report by the Carbon Trust.

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The research, which was funded by the UK government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, suggests a series of measures be used to accelerate Research, Development and Deployment (RD&D) in Japan’s offshore wind sector and reduce development, construction and operational costs.

According to the Carbon Trust, Japan has enormous wind potential that can be relatively easily exploited.

Al-Karim Govindji, senior manager at the Carbon Trust commented, “Japan’s offshore wind industry is relatively embryonic as historically the emphasis has been on nuclear.

“Although in the past Japan excelled at shipbuilding, it presently lacks experience in large scale engineering projects offshore; experience the UK offshore wind industry has benefited from through decades of oil and gas exploration. It should be noted that challenging climatic and geological factors in Japan mean that European methods of construction and installation cannot always be applied.

Govindji added, “Japanese manufactures are leading the way in developing bespoke solutions needed to cope with Japan’s challenging environmental conditions; however our analysis shows that experience from Europe on developing the right technologies and regulatory market conditions to foster an industry with enormous potential could deliver results quicker.”

Despite the country’s commitment to increasing renewable energy generation, solar and wind in particular, nuclear reactors that were switched off following the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in 2011 have been given the green light to restart.

The country saw anti-nuclear sentiment rise after the disaster and also faced criticism from environmentalists when it unveiled plans to give priority to coal in its long-term energy mix.

Photo: phault via Flickr

Further reading:

Investments in renewables must increase, warns UN

Radioactive water leak found at Fukushima nuclear plant

Japan steps closer to restarting nuclear power plants

Japan prefers coal over renewables for post-Fukushima energy mix

Japan makes nuclear commitment despite Fukushima devastation


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