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Japan to build more offshore wind farms

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Good! More renewables, and even better, more conservation.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

This is good news but should have happened 10 or so years ago.

As is often the case Japan is playing catch up and will probably need to rely on Denmark etc for the cutting edge offshore technologies.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Probably the best result of the delay in utilizing wind power is that the systems that they eventually fit will be the highest technology with the best efficiency.

What has actualluy been holding this up is the power of the fiishers unions.

I guess that the falling participation rate and aging population of fishers in the west coast of Tohoku has opened a window for some movement.

There is an impressive array of wind turbines from Sakata in Yamagata all the way up to Akita Prefecture.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

America is relying on Britain for it's wind farm needs ...

I suggest Japan hurry up they are slow as always !!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The massive sea currents off of the south side of Honshu could power the whole of Japan forever.

Private enterprise needs to get a handle on this not the incompetent Japanese government...

1 ( +5 / -4 )

"positive impact on the ... economy, as each facility is composed of about 10,000 to 20,000 parts and would require decades of maintenance."

High maintenance costs are not a positive as they reduce the energy returned on energy invested (EROEI) of an energy source. IMHO, Japan should re-start it's Gen 3 reactors. Please check out Michael Shellenberger's new Book "Apocalypse Never". It is eye-opening to the critical blindspot that has developed around renewables.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Makes sense. Japan has a lot of coastlines. Why not use it for wind farms? It will not interfere with anything, and may even improve the fishing.

By one estimate, Japan could get up to 10% of its electricity from geothermal, whereas currently it gets about 0.3% of its needs from that source. Here in California we get over 5.5% of our electrical needs from geothermal.

As another commentor wrote, Japan could probably get a lot of electricity by tapping into the ocean currents that run around the islands.

It amazes me that with its vast potential for renewable energy, Japan has not yet done more in that field. Could it be that the companies responsible for the nuclear power plants in Japan do not want to see renewable energy developed, and have used their influence in that regard?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The massive sea currents off of the south side of Honshu could power the whole of Japan forever.

YES, BUT......

There have been intensive investments in this technology in Fracne (English Channel), Denmark and Sweden (Baltic Sea), Spain, France and Germany ( Mediterranean sea) and with massive currents you get massive movments of sand and sediments, i.e. abrasives. Even carbon fibre and titanium are not match for these destructive forces, So, as far as undersea current driven generation, it is back to the drawing-board,

gary

6 ( +6 / -0 )

where offshore ? I can see politics coming into play here rather than science and fact.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As is often the case Japan is playing catch up and will probably need to rely on Denmark etc for the cutting edge offshore technologies.

While the Japan government may be playing catch up, Japanese companies are already heavily involved in offshore wind power. In some ways, Denmark relies on Japanese technology, but it goes both ways. The company MHI Vestas is a good example.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So Japan aiming for 30 GW of wind power by 2040. Good to have a clear aim.

(The wind off the North Sea gets quite blustery, but there are probably not too many typhoons in Denmark. Japan's wind farms will have to be super tough.)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Finally Japan is talking about a policy that should have been put in place after 2011 at the very latest.

To be effective a renewables policy needs a mix of technologies. On and off shore wind, solar, geothermal and tidal/wave. Ironically Japan has abundant resources in all of these so their patent failure to make use of them I can only assume is as 1glen suggested.

Salt water environments are very aggressive and difficult to work in which is why in part it has not advanced as fast as wind and solar. The UK is a leading country in wave with a testing facility set up quite some years ago north of Scotland, but the technologies are only now starting to mature to a point where they may be viable, especially in open ocean environments

Given Japans location and geology, geothermal should have been a larger fraction of the energy mix for a long time now; on energy security grounds if nothing else.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Forgot to add, first reduce usage by insulation and other easy to implement energy efficiency policies.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Renewables have time and again demonstrated themselves to be nice luxuries that don't live up to the hype. As David says above, their maintenance costs are prohibitive for the amount of power they produce. So to ensure industry and domestic users have a reliable supply of baseload power, you need thermal generators running on idle or higher to ensure sure is always enough power to meet demand.

And for better or worse, that means oil, gas, coal or nuclear power stations. Hydrogen could be promising, but again it's still commercially unviable. Thorium is another possibility, but research into thorium factors fell by the wayside because you can't make nuclear weapons from that element. Go figure.

But solar? Great until clouds roll in or that pesky thing called night happens half the time. And wind? Again, nice when the wind blows, but not too strong or not at all. What's more, it would be impractical and uneconomical to build all the batteries needed to sore the power anyway. Batteries are OK as a backup on small-scale circuits, but simply can't provide sustained power over long periods.

Not being negative here, just realistic. What's more, solar and wind generators have much shorter lifespans that the fossil/nuclear power plants, so the thermal plants are here for the long haul.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Well, if we are going to go there, must not forget methane clathrate of course, fire ice, which Japan has in plenty.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@gary

Then tether the turbines above the sea floor!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@gary

Uh, wind turbines operate above the surface . . .

I was recruited to head the Japan subsidiary of a major international wind turbine player about 15 years ago, but the politics of land usage, international vs. domestic political cat and mouse games, multiple layers of non-essential entities taking cuts off the top of revenues and fervent government objection at the time to offshore farms soured me on the deal and it looked like a bridge too far. The company exited Japan eventually.

It could be that Fukushima changed minds about offshore, and the domestic manufacturers will be guaranteed market share, which means jobs. Not an unreasonable position for any government to take.

Slow (hey, this is Japan), but better than not advancing the market.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The BIG ? here is Why Offshore when you got thousands of acres of empty unused public land? It would be easier and cheaper to install and maintain on land.

Let me take a wild guess, making in offshore will eliminate lots of competition in the private sector, so the only few ( G.O Boys ) who are promoting this idea can get all the contracts.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How about the now-vacated plots for the Aegis ashore radars for a start?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

David

Please check out Michael Shellenberger's new Book "Apocalypse Never". It is eye-opening to the critical blindspot that has developed around renewables.

Spot on. However, do not expect the believers to read it. The "renewable" movement is a cult.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The only wind turbine I had seen in Japan seems to have been removed. It was located right at the bottom of the Miura peninsula. Not there anymore when I was nearby on January 1st 2020.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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