Wind Energy in Japan
2021 wind energy numbers
At the end of 2021, Japan’s wind power capacity reached 4,581 MW. Most of the wind power installed in Japan is onshore wind power. The total number of wind turbines was 2,574, an increase of 87 in 2021.
The new single-year installation amount of wind power capacity in 2020 was the highest ever, but in 2021 it was 28% of that. This is because the number of large-scale projects carried out was low. In addition, decommissioned wind power generation capacity has increased to 68.2 MW. It is thought that this is due to the increase in the number of wind turbines that have been in operation for a long time. The national capacity factor (average national capacity factor) was 21.5%, and the ratio of wind power to total electricity supply and demand in Japan was 1%.
To learn more about wind energy in Japan, please review their chapter in the IEA Wind TCP 2021 Annual Report.
Major policy measures were implemented in 2021 to connect wind energy supply to significant greenhouse gas emission reductions. In 2021, Japan announced a new greenhouse gas emission reduction target for the financial year 2030 (46% reduction compared to the financial year 2013), which is consistent with the 2050 carbon neutrality declared in 2020 and ambitious. In addition, the 6th Strategic Energy Plan, which sets an ambitious goal of 36-38% of renewable energy in the financial year 2030 toward carbon neutrality in 2050, and the Green Innovation Fund (GI Fund) was established in 2021 for NEDO to support companies’ ambitious goals. As part of the GI Fund, action plans have been formulated in 14 areas. One of these areas is renewable energy, including offshore wind power generation. Under the Green Growth Strategy, which is an industrial policy that creates a virtuous cycle between the economy and the environment, this fund supports companies and other entities for 10 years in areas ranging from research and development and demonstration to social implementation. The supported companies will demonstrate a commitment to specific goals and initiatives aimed at achieving them, especially in areas where policy effects are particularly large and long-term efforts are needed with an eye toward social implementation.
Progress & Operational Details
In 2021, Japan installed a new wind power capacity of 211 MW, most of which was the onshore wind. Cumulative wind power capacity at the end of 2021 reached 4,581 MW with 2,574 turbines. Of this, offshore wind power generation capacity was 51.6 MW.
The national capacity factor (average national capacity factor) was 21.5%. The total amount of electricity generated by wind power generation in 2021 was about 8.47 TWh, which was 0.97% of the national electricity demand of 873.2 TWh.
Notably, the number of decommissioned wind turbines, with a capacity of 68.2 MW, increased remarkably in CY2021, compared to the previous year. This suggests that the number of wind turbines that are due for renewal is increasing.
National RDD Priorities and Budget
Business promotion using the GI Fund has already begun toward the 2050 carbon-neutral target. As part of this promotion work, NEDO has decided to implement a technology development project related to reducing the cost of offshore wind power generation.
Specifically, in this NEDO project, the following four fields will be worked on first in order to promote the development of elemental technologies specified in the technology development roadmap:
- Field 1: Project for the development of next-generation wind turbine technology.
- Field 2: Development of low-cost technology for manufacturing and installation.
- Field 3: Development of offshore wind-related electrical system technology.
- Field 4: Project for upgrading offshore wind power operation and maintenance