Japanese Energy Companies Launch Floating Offshore Wind Association

floating wind turbine
Goto Floating Offshore Wind Turbine, Sakiyama (Public domain)

Published Mar 17, 2024 11:51 PM by The Maritime Executive


Twelve major Japanese energy firms including J-Power and NTT Anode Energy Corporation have teamed up to establish an association for floating offshore wind energy. The association, the Floating Offshore Wind Technology Research Association (FLOWRA), officially began operations last Friday after a general meeting in Tokyo.

Other members of the partnership include the Kansai Electric Power, Kyuden Mirai Energy, Cosmo Eco Power, TEPCO, Marubeni, Chubu Electric, Mitsubishi Offshore Wind Corporation, Tokyo Gas, Tohoku, Hokuriku Electric and Eurus Energy.

With Japan aiming to deploy 10 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 and 30-45 GW by 2040, floating offshore wind is tipped to be a critical component of this ambition. Due to the nature of its continental shelf, Japan has more potential for floating rather than fixed-bottom installations. This calls for investments in advanced technology needed to reduce early costs for installing floating offshore platforms.

FLOWRA will work on technological developments to accelerate commercialization of floating offshore wind in Japan. Further, the association will collaborate on joint research projects with overseas organizations, especially on topics such as standardization of floating offshore wind technological systems.

Last year, Japan and Denmark agreed to partner in researching and developing floating offshore wind power technologies. FLOWRA could be a viable platform for the collaboration, as the two countries also pledged to spearhead creation of de facto global standards for deployment of floating offshore wind.

The Japanese government has allocated $27 million to support floating offshore wind technology. An additional $2 billion will be funded through the government’s green transformation bonds, for building related supply chains for the floating wind. The association will be eligible to access this funding.

Japan appears keen to accelerate its offshore wind sector, having recently passed an amendment to allow expansion of the sea area dedicated for offshore wind to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).