Cost Reductions for Offshore Wind Power Generation

Cost Reductions for Offshore Wind Power Generation

Project Overview

To achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, it is essential to introduce renewable energy as much as possible. Given the feasibility of large-scale introduction and cost reductions as well as the anticipated economic ripple effects, offshore wind power generation holds the key to making renewable energy a main source of power.

Offshore wind power has been expanding mainly in Europe, but the Asian market is expected to grow rapidly between now and 2050. Especially in Japan and other parts of Asia, which have large areas of deep sea, there is an increasing need for systems optimized to suit local oceanographic and meteorological conditions, such as low wind speeds, typhoons, and lightning strikes.

The aim of this project, therefore, is to establish technology that can achieve a power generation cost of 8 to 9 yen/kWh with fixed-bottom wind turbines under certain conditions, and technology to commercialize floating offshore wind turbines at internationally competitive cost levels.
Based on the results of demonstration projects carried out thus far, the cost of offshore wind power, particularly for floating wind turbines, can be quickly reduced, thereby facilitating an expansion in public implementation efforts.

Project Features

Technology development project for next-generation wind turbines

In addition to the technological capabilities gained from onshore wind power and domestic manufacturing infrastructure, under this project, the overall value chain for wind turbines will be streamlined and optimized by leveraging Japan's strengths in the areas of manufacturing technologies, quality control, and robotics/factory automation. With a view toward collaboration with global manufacturers, development of wind turbine technologies will be pursued to optimize wind turbine specifications and realize high-quality mass production.

Technology development project for basic manufacturing and installation cost reduction for floating wind turbines

By leveraging Japan's shipbuilding technologies and infrastructure, such as docks, under this project, technologies will be developed to optimize floating bases and mooring systems. Low-cost construction technologies will also be developed to realize the world's first mass production system for floating turbines.

Technology development project for offshore wind power-related electrical systems

By leveraging the technological capabilities of globally competitive domestic cable manufacturers, technology development will be pursued on floating offshore substations and high-voltage dynamic cables optimized to withstand severe meteorological conditions, such as typhoons, and oceanographic conditions, such as sea swells, which frequently occur in Japan and other parts of Asia.

Innovative offshore wind power operation and maintenance project

By leveraging Japan's advanced smart maintenance technologies developed for onshore wind power, technology development will be pursued related to operations and monitoring/inspection activities with a view to enhancing maintenance activities, which account for over 30% of total costs.

Floating offshore wind turbine demonstration project

Since it is necessary to improve reliability and reduce costs through an integrated design that considers the behavior, performance, workability, and cost of components, such as wind turbines, floats, mooring systems, and cables, a comprehensive demonstration of the technologies used for the integrated system will be carried out. Given the goal of reducing power generation costs, end-users, (such as power generation companies) will be involved in the demonstration.

Project Summary


Up to 119.5 billion yen

CO2 Reduction Effect (Japan)

In 2030
Approximately 3-7 million tons/year
In 2050
Approximately 90 million tons/year

Economic Effect (World)

In 2030
Approximately 1 trillion yen
In 2050
Approximately 2 trillion yen

Research and Development Targets

  1. By 2030, develop technologies where electricity generated by fixed-bottom offshore wind power realizes costs of 8-9 yen/kWh under conditions related to wind and other factors.
  2. By 2030, develop technologies which enable the commercialization of floating offshore wind power at an internationally competitive cost level under conditions related to wind and other factors.

Assumptions regarding estimates of CO₂ reduction Effect and economic Effect

  • Offshore wind power is expected to replace combustion fuels.
  • In 2030, the capacity of offshore wind power installations is expected to total 1.68 MkW-3.68 MkW, which represents the sum of 1 MkW-3 MkW, as described in the Act on Promoting the Utilization of Sea Areas for the Development of Marine Renewable Energy Power Generation Facilities, and 0.68 MkW (for harbors and general areas of the ocean) as described in the Act on Special Measures Concerning Procurement of Electricity from Renewable Energy Sources by Electric Utilities, etc.
  • In 2050, the capacity of offshore wind power installations is expected to total 45 MkW, which is the amount considered necessary by Japan’s Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy to realize Japan’s goal of renewables comprising 50-60% of all energy sources.
  • Wind power facilities are expected to be utilized at a rate of 33.2%, which is the value used to determine the upper limit supply price for public bids related to fixed-bottom offshore wind power facilities.
  • Investment costs for offshore wind power projects (as estimated by IRENA) are expected to total US$6.1 billion /year in 2030 and US$10 billion /year in 2050.
  • Global capacity of offshore wind power installations (as estimated by IRENA) is expected to total 228 GW in 2030 and 1,000 GW in 2050, of which the capacity of Asian installations is expected to total 126 GW in 2030 and 613 GW in 2050.
  • Japanese companies are expected to acquire 100% of the domestic market and 25% of Asian markets, which is the same level as markets for solar and thermal power.

Project Implementing Entities

[Research and Development Phase 1-(1)]
Technology Development Project for Next-Generation Wind Turbines

Development of plain bearings for wind turbine main shafts
Development of low-cost specifications for extra large size main shaft bearings used in offshore wind turbines
  • NTN Corporation
Development and demonstration of advanced technology for high-performance manufacturing of offshore wind turbine towers​

[Research and Development Phase 1-(2)]
Technology development project for basic manufacturing and installation cost reduction for floating wind turbines

Mass production and cost reduction for semi-submersible steel/concrete hybrid floating structures
  • ManagerHitachi Zosen Corporation
Development of floating offshore power generation facility to achieve low LCOE and excellent social acceptability by using TLP ( Tension Leg Platform)
  • ManagerMODEC, Inc.
  • Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd.​
  • JERA Co., Inc.
Development of technology and construction techniques for semi-submersible floating structures and hybrid mooring systems
  • ManagerJapan Marine United Corporation
  • “K” Line Wind Service, Ltd.
"Large Floating Spar" Floating Foundation/Low-Cost Installation Technology Development Project For Offshore Wind Farms
  • ManagerTEPCO Renewable Power, Inc.
  • Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.
Development of a mass production system for low-cost hybrid spar floating structures for 15MW-class large wind turbines
Mass production and cost reduction of manufacturing and installing semisubmersible floating foundation for early social implementation
  • Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.

[Research and Development Phase 1-(3)]
Technology development project for offshore wind power-related electrical systems

Development of common elemental technologies for floating offshore wind (dynamic power cables, HVAC/HVDC offshore substations)
  • ManagerTEPCO Renewable Power, Inc.
  • Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc.
  • Hokuriku Electric Power Company
  • Electric Power Development Co., Ltd.
  • Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc.
  • The Kansai Electric Power Company, Incorporated
  • Shikoku Electric Power Company, Incorporated
  • Kyuden Mirai Energy Company, Incorporated
  • Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.
  • Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd.
  • Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation
  • Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

[Research and Development Phase 1-(4)]
Innovative offshore wind power operation and maintenance project

Development of innovative inspection technology for floating offshore wind turbine blades
  • ManagerThe Kansai Electric Power Company, Incorporated
  • Kanden Plant Corporation
Project to Develop Cable Laying Vessels (CLV) for Laying Submarine Cable
  • ManagerFurukawa Electric Co., Ltd.
  • CLV Development LLC.
Advancement of operation and maintenance with remote control and automation, and preventive maintenance through the use of digital technology
  • ManagerTEPCO Renewable Power, Inc.
  • Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation
Project to Develop Service Operation Vessels (SOV) for Construction and Maintenance of Wind Turbines
  • SOV Development LLC.​
Development of the operation and maintenance digital platform for floating offshore wind turbines​
  • Hokutaku Co., Ltd.
Development of advanced CMS for offshore wind turbines realizing bearing life cycle management ​
  • NTN Corporation
Development of quality management system with preventive maintenance technology using Digital Twin and AI technology