Japan to resume offshore wind power auctions

Japan to resume offshore wind power auctions

Japan plans to resume public auctions for offshore wind power projects by the end of the year after revising rules to draw a wider range of bidders and promote faster development of new infrastructure.

The auction for an offshore wind farm in Happo-Noshiro in Akita Prefecture was suspended in March after the resumption of the auction in March. The suspension came after businesses complained about the lack of clarity around the bid process.

Three consortiums led by Mitsubishi Corp. were selected in late December by the government to operate three offshore wind power projects in Chiba and Akita prefectures.

The proposed changes, presented by industry and land ministries to a panel of expects on Thursday, would give a higher evaluation score to operators who submit earlier start dates and set a limit on bids that one consortium can win when multiple ocean areas are auctioned.

To discourage auctions that focus on price alone, the evaluation process will treat all bids that are below the market price an equal score in their assessment of price.

The government plans to add up to 10 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030 and up to 45 GW by 2040 to curb emissions as part of Japan's decarbonization strategy.

A number of global wind power companies such as Denmark s Orsted and Germany s RWE are keen to enter Japan's market.