Japan Setting Up New Offshore Wind Working Group

Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) are launching a new working group to start discussions on standards for maintenance and management of offshore wind projects.

According to the ministries, the Working Group on Facility Maintenance and Management Technologies is part of the efforts for discussions on standards and other criteria for offshore wind under the Committee on Study of Developing Offshore Wind Power Generation Facilities in Ports and Harbors.

The current discussions have an aim to streamline examination procedures under the Electricity Business Act and the Port and Harbor Act, as well as to reduce burdens from related businesses to further facilitate the introduction of wind power generation, the parties said.

The relevant acts require applicants to submit documents which describe the method of maintaining and managing the offshore wind power generation facilities when they make applications to introduce such facilities in ports and harbors.

METI and MLIT plan to stipulate the standards by the end of the financial year 2018 based on the discussion results of the working group.

Japan's Government approved a new bill in November which promotes the commercial use of offshore wind in the country's waters.

The first offshore wind tenders are expected in the spring or summer of 2019 and will include around five development areas. Successful candidates will be granted a 30-year lease to develop and operate the projects.