Round 2 Offshore Wind Tender Atones for Furor from Round 1

July 19, 2023|Offshore wind

More than 18 months have passed since Japan announced the results of its first tender for offshore wind farm licenses. That first experience, in December 2021, ended with an uproar among the many firms that felt the process was less than fair because Mitsubishi Corp-led consortiums won all three fixed-bottom turbine tenders. 

Taking into account that experience, the government instituted a number of reforms hoping to improve the tender process by making it more transparent and competitive. Bids for Round 2 closed on June 30, and so far the industry reaction is more upbeat. Results will be announced before March 2024.

While over 20 companies and consortiums submitted environmental assessment reports for Round 2, this does not mean they’ll all bid. The government asked bidders not to disclose any information, including if they went through with an official bid or not. Still, if the number of consortiums that submitted the reports translates into bidders, it would mean a two-thirds increase for Round 2 compared with the initial auction. It would also see at least 15 new faces among the bidders, bolstered by much stronger interest among domestic players. 

Japan’s decarbonization strategy envisages offshore wind becoming a significant source of energy on a scale that squeezes fossil fuel generation to a minimum and overtakes domestic nuclear capacity. METI calls for installing as much as 10 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 and up to 45 GW by 2040, with a gradual shift to turbines that float in deep water, as opposed to those fixed to the ocean floor.

However, the Japan Wind Power Association (JWPA) has even more ambitious plans. At the end of May, it unveiled its “JWPA Wind Vision” for 2050, calling for …

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