Japan’s NEDO Working on Cutting Floating Wind Price

Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) is set to begin the development of a new floating offshore wind turbine system, with an aim to lower the cost of energy by JPY 20/kWh (approx. EUR 0.16/kWh) after 2030.

During the project, NEDO will conduct multiple activities aimed at reducing the cost of the system, such as conceptual design of a new integrated wind turbine-tower-floater light-weight structure, adoption of two-blade turbine, studies on load mitigation in typhoon, wave tank model tests, and the evaluation of safety, reliability and feasibility of the system.

Given that Japan has few shallow water coastlines and the seabed topography includes many steep areas, the country sees its offshore wind future in utilising floating wind technology. In order to achieve this and to accelerate the development of offshore wind power, advanced research and development is required to further lower the cost of floating wind power and reach a point where it can compete with the power generation cost of the bottom-fixed offshore wind turbines.

In an effort to validate floating technology for future commercial floating wind farms that Japan wants to have installed by 2030, NEDO has also initiated a demonstration project that is due to enter the construction phase this year. The project involves two turbines, one with a capacity of 3MW and another of 4.4MW, mounted on Ideol’s floating platform and installed off Kitakyushu.

In a recently added supplement on floating wind to its Innovation Outlook: Offshore Wind report, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) made a case on floating wind, naming Japan, the US west coast, Western Europe and the Republic of Korea as top markets for floating foundations.

However, to contribute significantly to the global energy mix in the coming decades, aside from being widely deployed, floating offshore wind systems need to become less costly, IRENA said. About 20 players are already involved in moving floating foundation technologies from the early-concept stage through to commercial deployment. This maturation is likely to require another 15 years, and there are no existing markets to tap for commercial-scale floating offshore wind technologies, according to the report.

Offshore WIND Staff

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