Japan to review screening criteria for offshore wind power projects

The government said Friday it will review its screening procedures for offshore wind power projects.

When selecting operators, the government will evaluate projected selling prices and give preference to applicants who can commence operations early.

With an eye on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, Tokyo sees offshore wind power as a key factor in increasing usage of renewable energies — by choosing operators who can get up and running quickly, the government hopes to accelerate its introduction.

In December, consortiums led by Mitsubishi Corp. were selected to operate offshore wind power projects in three locations off Akita and Chiba prefectures. The consortiums were awarded the tenders after submitting bids that were drastically lower than those of rival bidders. As a result, the power industry and others have called on the government to review its screening criteria.

The deadline for an ongoing public tender for an offshore wind power project off Happou and Noshiro in Akita Prefecture will be extended from June 10, and the new criteria will be applied.