Japan Approves New Offshore Wind Bill

A bill promoting the commercial use of offshore wind in Japanese waters has passed both houses of Japan's National Diet.

The Bill on promotion of use of territorial waters for offshore renewable energy generation facilities will be put into effect in the spring of 2019, and the first offshore wind tenders are expected in the spring or summer of 2019, the Japan Wind Power Association (JWPA) said.

The bill has been expanded with additional resolutions relating to the fishing industry and the obligatory decommissioning funds to be set aside by the bid winners.

The legislation allows the Japanese 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 will, in consultation with other relevant ministries, identify potential offshore wind zones, after which the developers would submit their bids.

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

The government is reportedly expected to designate around five offshore wind development areas.