The United Kingdom is eager to collaborate with Japan on the growth of its offshore wind energy sector through various means, such as the involvement of British energy firms, as well as offering financial and insurance support, according to Grant Shapps, the Energy Security Secretary. Following a two-day gathering in Sapporo, northern Japan, the Group of Seven wealthy nations have committed to accelerating renewable energy development, vowing to collectively augment offshore wind capacity by 150 gigawatts (GW) and solar capacity to over 1 terawatt by 2030. The UK is among the largest global offshore wind markets, boasting over 10 GW of existing capacity.
The country aims to increase this capacity to as much as 50 GW by the close of the decade, with companies like BP and Shell actively broadening their presence in the sector. “The British contribution (in Japan) is likely to encompass both the energy firms – the tangible aspect – as well as the financial aspect, which includes financing mechanisms, insurance, and technical expertise consulting,” Shapps explained. Prior to the G7 energy and climate summit in Sapporo, Shapps engaged in several days of dialogue with Japanese government and industry representatives to explore potential collaborations.
Japan has initiated a second significant round of public auctions to choose operators for four new regions with the potential to produce 1.8 GW of offshore wind energy. The country aims to deploy up to 10 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 and as much as 45 GW by 2040. Shapps made reference to the “extensive areas of collaboration between the UK and Japan” in the area of offshore wind expansion without specifically mentioning the offshore wind energy bids. He also pointed out that the G7’s goals for solar and offshore wind production were intended as cumulative targets for the group. “It is not divided among individual countries, and I anticipate that some nations will surpass the overall comparative contribution, in part due to geographic factors… or windier locations,” Shapps added.