The government of Japan will reportedly be speeding up the commencing of operations for new offshore wind power plants in a bid to review the historically resource-poor nation’s high dependence on energy imports following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The government will review its permission criteria under which businesses could bid for marine area usage for harvesting offshore wind power, allowing firms that can start sooner to be more highly evaluated than those that can start later.
In a press conference, Koichi Hagiuda, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, stated that following the crisis in Ukraine, the country is faced with an urgent need to hasten the introduction of renewable energy as a home-grown energy source not only for decarbonization but also to ensure energy security.
A group led by Mitsubishi Corp, Japan's largest trading company, had won the right for using three marine areas near northeastern Japan and Tokyo in December, and planned on supplying power at lower prices, aiming to start in 2028.
However, many companies that had lost during the bidding process complained about the criteria being too cost-oriented.
For that, Hagiuda stated that a ministry council will begin discussions on how screening criteria can be revised from next week.
Japan had remained cautious in joining the Western nations imposing sanctions on Russia, which included banning or cutting imports of crude oil and other fossil fuels from the country, as it promoted energy-related imports from Russia considering its geographical vicinity as well the its need for decentralizing supply sources.
Based on Japan External Trade Organization’s data, in 2021, Japan imported 3.6% of its crude oil and 8.8% of its liquified gas from Russia.
As per the country’s 2019 law of using oceans for renewable energy, wind power operators are allowed to utilize their designated marine area for thirty years.
In October, the Japanese government had approved its energy plan which focused on reaching carbon neutrality by 2050, placing offshore wind power as the major source of renewable energy.