Country Reports

SUPPORTING POLICIES FOR OCEAN ENERGY 

Aiming to promote a comprehensive and systematic implementation of policies relating to the ocean, the Japanese Government enacted the “Ocean Basic Law” in July 2007. Based on this “Ocean Basic Law”, the cabinet later issued the “Basic Plan on Ocean Policy” in March 2008. Since April 2013, the second “Basic Plan on Ocean Policy (BPOP)” has been in effect and will continue through March 2018, also based on the “Ocean Basic Law”.

The Second Basic Plan on Ocean Policy states the importance of the aim to “realize a new oceanic State in harmony with the peaceful and positive development and use of the oceans with the conservation of the marine environment, under international cooperation based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other international agreements.” Considering this, the Government has decided to set the following as its basic stance and approach in adopting the development of the new Basic Plan on Ocean Policy:

  1. International cooperation and contribution to the international community;
  2. Wealth and prosperity through ocean development and utilization of the sea;
  3. Evolving from a country protected by the sea to a country that protects the sea;
  4. Venturing into the unexplored frontier.

Under the section of the BPOP ‘Utilization of Sea’, as it relates to number 2 above, Renewable Ocean Energy has been planned including ‘wave energy, tidal energy, ocean current energy, and ocean thermal energy’. All Renewable Ocean Energy projects based on the 2nd BPOP have been progressing and are scheduled through March 2018.

In 2016, discussions have been started to plan the next 3rd BPOP (five years) for promoting ‘Utilization of Sea’, including Ocean Energy.

Renewable Ocean Energy Projects supported by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development (NEDO), the Ministry of the Environment (MOE), the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) have been progressing.

Through NEDO projects, they have encouraged the R&D for wave energy, tidal energy, ocean current and ocean thermal energy conversion. In 2016, under a NEDO project, an ocean tidal current project has been undertaken by IHI Corporation, Yokyo University, Mitsui & Co., Lt., with an eye towards operation in 2017. The system is a twin-type configured with a pair of 50 kW power generators. The turbine diameter is about 10 meters with the total length of the floating body at about 20 meters. A practical system is assumed to be 2 MW (two 1000 kW units) with a turbine diameter of about 40 meters. The targeted generation cost is 20 yen per kWh.

A consortium consisting of Kyuden Mirai Energy Co., Inc, Nippon Steel & Sumikin Engineering Co., Ltd., NPO Nagasaki Marine Industry Cluster Promotion Association and Open Hydro Technology has been selected by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment to supply a tidal turbine system for installation in the Okinawase Seto area of Goshima City, Nagasaki. Japan was selected as the business operator.

The aim of this demonstration project (2 MW) is to establish technologies conforming to domestic environments and technical standards, target for early practical application of tidal current power generation in Japan. The implementation period is 2016 to 2019.