Japan plans to become the world leader in the wind energy sector and has plans to build a 1 gigawatt offshore wind farm off the coast of the Fukushima Prefecture to be completed by 2020. Upon completion this will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world.
Japan’s Wind Power Association believes that the country could have 50 gigawatts of wind generating capacity by 2050; more than 10 percent of the nation’s electricity demand.
It has taken the first steps along the path to this goal with the development of transmission grids in the Hokkaido and Tohoku regions, the most wind friendly regions in Japan, which will triple the wind capacity in those areas to 7.5 GW.
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Regional utility companies, Hokkaido Electric Power Co. and Tohoku Electric Power Co. have laid the first transmission lines to connect wind farms to existing transmission lines, but due to a lack of funding they could not deploy enough lines to fully take advantage of the wind capacity available.
The Japanese government has now announced that in April of this year they will start a 10 year project which will provide the necessary funds to build transmission grids. They hope that these funds will be covered by fees that companies must then pay for using the grids, and estimate that it will allow current wind capacity to increase by around 600%.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
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