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Wind power could meet Japan’s energy shortfall

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) has called for urgent action to exploit Japan’s wind power potential.

By Renewable Energy Focus staff

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said at the recent G8 Summit that his country could move away from nuclear power towards more reliance on renewable sources.

GWEC says this is a welcome development, but that there is a danger that by focusing on the Sunrise Plan, other important opportunities such as wind power will be neglected.

“We were disappointed to hear that Prime Minister Kan did not make any mention of scaling up Japan’s wind power capacity,” says Steve Sawyer, GWEC’s Secretary General. “Japan cannot afford to miss this opportunity to deploy the rich wind resource at its doorstep.”

The technical potential of Japan’s wind resources amounts to 1.9 TW, including 300 GW onshore and 1.6 TW offshore wind power. At the end of 2010, Japan’s wind capacity stood at only 2.3 GW. Even prior to Fukushima, the Japanese wind industry associations had called for 50 GW of wind development, 25 GW onshore and 25 GW offshore.

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