Japan Offshore Wind Report (2nd Edition)

At the crossroads of key decisions

Significant progress has been made since our previous publication.

It is fair to say that we are at a juncture where important political, regulatory and strategic decisions are being made and will be made in the coming months. Striking the right balance between (i) energy cost efficiency and (ii) local/national economy contribution will be the key to achieve success.

These decisions may not be straightforward, but the guiding principle should always be the long-term success of the Japan offshore wind industry.

Key areas in the report

Regulatory update

To achieve the government’s energy policy and 2030 energy mix target, the Marine Renewables Energy Act was approved by the Diet on 30 November 2018 and promulgated on 7 December 2018.

The purpose of the Marine Renewables Energy Act is to empower and require the state to engage and co-ordinate with the public and existing stakeholders in order to allow long-term occupation of a particular area of the sea for the purposes of renewable energy projects.

The Marine Renewables Energy Act applies to general territorial waters (not the exclusive economic zone) except for areas governed by, inter alia, the Port Harbour Act.

Supply chain issues

The development of local offshore wind supply chains is one of the key challenges in a new market. A number of factors create potential bottlenecks which need to be considered:

  • localisation requirements;
  • local market capacity of sophisticated, robust and wide ranging industries supporting the new offshore wind industry;
  • international project and financing experience of local contractors;
  • access to specialist vessels, and whether foreign vessels are permitted to fulfil these specialist functions; and
  • the need to develop new port infrastructure fit for purpose for the offshore wind industry.

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