At a press conference on Sept. 24, Environment Minister Koizumi Shinjiro announced that the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) will start data collection on maritime areas thought potentially appropriate for the installation of offshore wind power plants. The aim is to accelerate the development of offshore wind power. The data collection will eliminate the need for operators to conduct their own surveys from scratch, and thereby shorten the environmental impact assessment period by one or two years.
The MOE included 465 million yen to cover the data collection costs in its budget request for next fiscal year.
The government sees offshore wind power as its trump card for expanding renewable energy, but full-scale offshore wind power generation is expected to be operable only after the 2030s. Koizumi said that he would like to “help shorten [the survey] period so that [offshore wind power] will be operable by 2030.”