The government aims to triple the nation’s supply capacity of electricity generated through wind power to 7.5 million kilowatts by developing transmission grids in Hokkaido and the Tohoku region, it has been learned.
Under a decadelong project the government will launch in fiscal 2013, which starts in April, the public and private sectors will spend about 310 billion yen (S$4.1 billion) on development.
Wind is considered a key source for increasing the proportion of renewable energy because it can generate a great deal of power at one site and is less expensive than solar and geothermal power.
The government estimates that wind power generation cost just about 10 yen per kilowatt hour as of 2010–almost the same as thermal power generation by liquefied natural gas.
However, wind-generated power in Japan amounted to 179.63 million kilowatt-hours in fiscal 2011–less than 0.1 per cent of the nation’s total power production.
Read the rest of the story: Japan aims to triple wind power.
Japan is preparing to bolt turbines onto barges and build the world’s largest commercial power plant using floating windmills, tackling the engineering challenges of an unproven technology to cut its reliance on atomic energy.
Marubeni Corp. (8002), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (7011) and Nippon Steel Corp. (5401) are among developers erecting a 16-megawatt pilot plant off the coast of Fukushima, site of the nuclear accident that pushed the government to pursue cleaner energy. The project may be expanded to 1,000 megawatts, the trade ministry said, bigger than any wind farm fixed to the seabed or on land.
“Japan is surrounded by deep oceans, and this poses challenges to offshore wind turbines that are attached to the bottom of the sea,” Senior Vice Environment Minister Katsuhiko Yokomitsu said at a meeting in Tokyo this month. “We are eager for floating offshore wind to become a viable technology.”
Read the rest of the story: Floating Windmills in Japan Help Wind Down Nuclear Power: Energy.
Japan asked the World Trade Organization on Wednesday to form a legal panel to decide whether Canadian provincial backing for solar and wind energy projects gives an unfair advantage to domestic equipment makers.
Japan has given up direct attempts to resolve a spat over an Ontario scheme that guarantees prices for renewable energy as long as it is generated with Canadian-made equipment, Japan’s ambassador to the WTO said in a letter to the chairman of the WTO’s disputes division.
"Consultations failed to resolve the dispute. As a result, Japan respectfully requests that a panel be established to examine this matter," Ambassador Yoichi Otabe wrote.
Read the rest of the story: Japan takes Canada to WTO over green-power rules.
Two months after the explosions and radiation leaks at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, the prime minister, Naoto Kan, has announced that the country will not build any new reactors.
If Kan really means it, the government will have to abandon the plans for expanding nuclear power it adopted only last year. To make up the energy shortfall, Kan has set the ambitious goal of using renewables.
That is most likely to mean wind, according to a report released last month by the Ministry of the Environment. There is "an extremely large introduction potential of wind power generation", it says, especially in the tsunami-hit north-east of the country.
Read the rest of the story: Wind is Japan’s strongest alternative to nuclear.
As Japan’s earthquake and tsunami ripped through the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the wind turbines at nearby Takine Ojiroi Wind Farm did what they were designed to do – they swayed, they stopped, they electronically checked themselves and automatically restarted.
"Except for one turbine that was very close to the nuclear power plant, all the turbines were up and running after the quake," said Sean Sutton of Vestas, the world’s largest manufacturer of electricity generating wind turbines.
"And the damaged turbine we were able to monitor remotely," he said. Even now, the turbines are generating power for the grid despite being isolated within the nuclear exclusion zone.
As a source of power, wind energy is about as clean, safe and earthquake-proof as it gets — the problem is it generates a fraction of Japan’s energy needs.
Read the rest of the story: Japan and energy: What’s the alternative?.
Japan placed 18th in the global rankings for new wind power installations in 2010, creating 221,000 kw of renewable energy capacity compared with 16.5 million kw by China, the world’s front-runner, according to a recent study by an international trade association.
Japan’s total wind-power generating capacity grew about 10 percent from the previous year against 22.5 percent globally as many countries rushed to develop alternative energy sources to fight climate change and reduce their reliance on oil, the Global Wind Energy Council said.
The global output capacity of wind farms increased by 35,800,000 kw to 194,390,000 kw last year, said GWEC.
Japan trailed emerging economies Brazil and Mexico in new installations.
Read the rest of the story: Japan 18th in new wind farms in ’10.