Japan lags behind others in off-shore wind power generation

Masatoshi Akimoto, a lower house member (the Acting Secretary General of the Parliamentary Association for Promotion of Renewable Energies)

Q: What kind of measures should be taken to promote wind power generation?

Akimoto: Globally, wind power generation will rapidly shift from on-land to offshore. Asian countries including South Korea, China and Taiwan are planning large-scale offshore wind power projects. If Japan does not take full-fledged actions toward offshore wind power projects as soon as possible, the wind power industry in Asia will be led by South Korea and China.

The national government should determine the "general sea" where offshore wind power facilities can be constructed so that private companies can develop offshore facilities. Then, ships equipped with self-elevating platforms (SEPs), which are necessary for construction of offshore wind power equipment, should be built while constructing base ports for special ships used to construct offshore wind power facilities.

Huge wind turbines are assembled and tested at ports before they are carried offshore. Therefore, base ports for construction of offshore wind power facilities have to be equipped with a large yard for assembling huge wind power equipment, port facilities that can support the weight of huge wind turbines and extra-high-voltage power reception equipment for operation testing of wind turbines.