Tokyo, Sept. 8 (Jiji Press)–A renewable energy unit of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. <9501> plans to begin fully working on floating offshore wind farms in the second half of this decade, Seiichi Fubasami, president of the subsidiary, has said in a recent online interview.
The Japanese government places offshore wind power at the center of its plan to expand the use of renewable energy, aiming to increase wind power generation capacity in the country to a maximum of 45 gigawatts by 2040 on a planning basis.
Shallow waters that allow wind farms to be built on fixed foundations, common in Europe, are limited in Japan. Floating wind farms avoid the need for shallow waters, but they are technically more difficult when it comes to commercialization.
The subsidiary, TEPCO Renewable Power Inc., based in Tokyo, joined a trial floating wind power project in waters near Norway in February.
“By early this month, we would be coming to a stage where we can send electricity to the power grid (on a floating structure),” Fubasami said, stressing progress in the development of technologies to curb costs.
The president suggested that the company will focus on commercializing floating offshore wind power at home on conditions including the government soliciting projects.
In Japan, waters off the Tohoku northeastern region and the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido will be promising locations for floating offshore wind power farms in light of the effects of typhoons, Fubasami said.
He added that TEPCO Renewable Power expects its floating offshore wind power generation capacity will be 200,000-400,000 kilowatts.