Japanese Delegation Picks BOEM’s Brain on OW Environmental Review

With Japan’s PREC Institute currently evaluating various approaches to preparing offshore wind Strategic Environmental Assessments, representatives from the institute and Japan’s Ministry of the Environment met with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on 4 December to discuss BOEM’s approach to offshore wind planning and environmental review.

Namely, BOEM’s Office of International Affairs and Office of Renewable Energy Programs hosted the First Secretary for Environment, from the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C., and a senior researcher from Japan’s PREC Institute to provide background on BOEM’s approach and methodology to preparing environmental documents.

“More specifically, since the initial publication of BOEM’s renewable energy regulations in 2009, BOEM has issued 13 commercial leases for offshore wind energy, covering 1.4 million acres with a potential capacity of 15 GW of power generation. BOEM has also prepared several Environmental Assessments that consider potential impacts of lease issuance, site characterization, and site assessment activities related to offshore wind along the U.S.’s Atlantic Coast and has approved three Site Assessment Plans. Looking forward, BOEM anticipates preparing multiple Environmental Impact Statements in the coming years, which will assess the reasonably foreseeable impacts of commercial activities on the leases issued along the Atlantic,” a BOEM spokesperson said in a statement.

The Asia Wind Energy Association expects 1.8GW of installed offshore wind in Japan by 2026, with the first projects to be added within the port areas, Edgare Kerkwijk, a board member and one of the founders of the Asia Wind Energy Association said for this year’s third edition of the Offshore WIND Magazine.

Japan had 59.6MW of offshore wind power at the end of 2016, with 28 turbines installed off its coasts, including three floating wind turbines.

Further 2,486MW of offshore wind projects are currently under various stages of development, according to GWEC, with several projects anticipated to start construction within the coming few years.

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