Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Wind Country Notes
Although the wind resource of Japan is large, located mostly in the far north and far south of the country, there are impediments to utilising it to the full. The areas of high wind (Tohoku, Hokkaido and Kyushu regions) do not match the areas of high population density and the national, privately-owned grids each has a wind capacity limit, ranging from 3.5% to 5% of the grid capacity. Additionally, to date offshore installations have been precluded owing to the deep waters surrounding the country.
Nevertheless, as a result of the UN Climate Change Conference in Kyoto in 1997, Japan agreed to reduce its output of GHG by 6% by 2010, compared to the 1990 level. In order to meet this target, the Government set an objective of
3 000 MW wind capacity in its latest Primary Energy Supply Plan.
April 2002 saw the Government passing further legislation (the Renewables Portfolio Standard - RPS) so that the renewable energy contribution to total electricity supply (1.35% by 2010) would be met.
By end fiscal-year 2001, total installed capacity stood at 139 MW and at end fiscal-year 2005, 1 078 MW. A further 316 MW was added during April-December 2006 to bring the total to 1 394 MW. This high rate of growth has been possible because of Governmental support in the form of field tests, promotional subsidy programmes and the RPS.
Following the results of COP3, the Government must set a further target for 2030. The Japanese Wind Power Association has proposed wind capacity of
11 800 MW by 2030 and the NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization) suggests that 10 000 MW could be in place by 2020 and 20 000 MW by 2030.