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Wind Energy in Japan

2020 wind energy numbers

At the end of 2020, Japan’s wind power capacity reached 4,439 MW (of which 57.6 MW is offshore wind). Most of the wind power installed in Japan is onshore wind power. The total number of wind turbines was 2526, an increase of 116 in 2020. The amount of wind capacity installed in 2020 was 1.9 times that of 2019, which is the largest new single-year installation amount ever. The launch of several large-scale projects has contributed to this. The national capacity factor (average national capacity factor) was 20.8%, and the ratio of wind power to total electricity supply and demand in Japan was 0.89% (7.64/857.8 TWh). In research and development, in order to promote offshore wind power, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) started a national project in 2020 to develop maintenance technology and wind turbine components to reduce the cost of offshore wind power.

To learn more about wind energy in Japan, please review their chapter in the IEA Wind TCP 2020 Annual Report.

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Megawatt

Total wind power capacity is 4,440 MW.
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Megawatt

Wind power capacity in Japan increased by 520 MW in 2020.
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Terawatt-time

Japan produces 7.64 TWh from wind energy, which accounts for 0.89% of the country’s electricity consumption.

National Targets

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)’s Fifth Energy Strategy aims to increase the ratio of renewable energy to power source composition as of 2030 from 22% to 24%, of which the ratio of wind power should be about 1.7%. In order to reach this target and in recognizing the importance of promoting offshore wind power, the government has enacted a new law: the Act of Promoting Utilization of Sea Areas in Development of Power Generation Facilities using Maritime Renewable Energy Resources (effective April 2019). This law stipulates how offshore wind power generation business should be conducted.

Progress & Operational Details

Japan installed a new wind power capacity of 516 MW in 2020, most of which was onshore wind. The number of wind turbines increased by 116. The amount of new wind power capacity installed in 2020 was 1.9 times that of 2019, which is the largest amount of new wind power capacity installed in a single year ever. Cumulative wind power capacity at the end of 2020 reached 4,439 MW with 2,554 turbines, and the average size of newly built wind turbines increased to 2.7 MW.

The total amount of electricity generated by wind power in 2020 was about 7.64 TWh, which was 0.89% of the national electricity demand of 857.8 TWh.

Japan’s offshore wind capacity in 2020 was 67.6 MW. As part of NEDO’s Hibiki project, a barge-type floating wind turbine (3 MW) has been installed off the coast of Kitakyushu City and is undergoing demonstration operation.

National RDD Priorities and Budget

METI and NEDO manage major national wind power research and development programs in Japan. Many of these programs focus on reducing the levelized cost of energy of wind power, especially offshore wind.

Offshore wind power generation technology research and development (2018–2022) achieved the following results in 2020:

  • Barge type floater
  • Newly designed floating body
  • Research and development on advanced operation of power turbines
  • Low-cost construction technology development
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