Japan Takes Another Stab at Offshore Wind Bill

The Japanese Cabinet has re-introduced a bill promoting commercial use of offshore wind to the 197th extraordinary National Diet session which started on 24 October and will last for 48 days.

The Bill on promotion of use of territorial waters for offshore renewable energy generation facilities was dismissed during the 196th Diet session back in July due to political differences, the Japan Wind Power Association (JWPA) said.

The House of Representatives is expected to deliberate on the bill mid-November and send it to the House of Councilors. The deliberations there are expected to be completed by the end of November.

If passed into law, the bill will become effective by spring 2019 and the first offshore wind auction could be launched in the summer of 2019, JWPA said.

The bill would allow the Cabinet to draw up a ”basic policy” to promote the use of Japan’s territorial waters outside the port-related areas for the development of renewable energy.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism would, in consultation with other relevant ministries, then identify potential offshore wind zones, after which the developers would submit their bids.

The successful candidates would be granted a 30-year lease to develop and operate wind farms at the designated areas.