December 3 (Renewables Now) - The government of Japan last week approved a bill that aims to promote the development of offshore wind projects through competitive bidding.
The Japan Wind Power Association (JWPA) said on Friday that the government intends to designate offshore wind areas and hold tenders for their development, awarding winning bidders the right to use those zones for up to 30 years. The bill also includes rules related to the decommissioning of the wind farms and resolutions concerning the fishing industry.
The bill, which has received approval by both houses of the National Diet, is expected to be passed into law next spring. The competition for development rights under the first offshore wind auction is planned to be held either in the spring or in the summer of 2019, according to the statement.
“This bill is a big step in the right direction. The next crucial stage will be to develop the next level of detail to clarify the expected power capacity of the zones and the overall ambition and timeframe for the zone allocation,” commented Jan Matthiesen, director offshore wind at the Carbon Trust. Describing the development as a “crucial” step in Japan’s energy strategy, he added that it shows the Japanese government’s commitment to supporting long-term investment in the offshore wind sector and thus increasing energy security.