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Japan proposes grid expansion for offshore power push

  • April 20, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 12:13 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, April 21 (Jiji Press)–The industry ministry has proposed a plan to boost Japan’s interregional power grid capacity as part of efforts to expand offshore wind power generation in line with the government goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.


Currently, the electricity transmission capacity between the northernmost island of Hokkaido and the Tohoku northeastern and Kanto eastern regions, both in the Honshu main island, stands at about 900,000 kilowatts.


A plan will be considered to ramp up the capacity by 8 million to 12 million kilowatts, in order to carry more electricity from Hokkaido, which has a large potential of offshore wind farms, to Tokyo and nearby areas in Kanto, where power demand is high.


For that purpose, the ministry plans to lay undersea power cables in both the Pacific and the Sea of Japan to connect Hokkaido, Tohoku and Kanto.


The plan, shown at a meeting of experts on Tuesday, came after the government set a goal of boosting Japan’s offshore wind generation capacity to up to 45 million kilowatts by 2040.


Prospective sites for offshore wind generation are concentrated in Hokkaido, Tohoku as well as the Kyushu southwestern Japan region. The small capacity of the power grid from Hokkaido to Honshu may hinder growth of renewable energy use in the country.


The government will discuss details and adopt the final plan in the current fiscal year to March 2022. New power grids are expected to start working in the 2030s.


The ministry also proposed a plan to consider newly building and reinforcing power grids connecting Kyushu with the Chugoku, Shikoku and Kansai western regions.

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