Business lobby seeks to clarify sea use for offshore wind

JAPAN: The Japanese Business Federation has asked the government to draw up guidelines to be used by regional authorities when granting permission for long-term use of the general sea areas by offshore wind operators.

Japan's offshore wind plans have been hindered by short occupation rights of its seas
Japan's offshore wind plans have been hindered by short occupation rights of its seas

The suggestions were included as part of a set of answers to a government questionnaire, returned on 31 March.

The general seas are public assets governed by the national property law, with property management delegated to local authorities. to date, muncipalities have established regulations on an ad hoc basis, with occupation rights generally set between one and five years.

However, such a period is not consistent with the realities of the offshore wind business, which operates under a 20-year feed-in-tariff (FIT) agreement. Permission for governing long-term occupation is necessary to facilitate fund raising.

The Japanese Business Federation, also known as the Keidanren, represents around 1,600 organisations and, according to the survey results, views the central government responsible for drawing up a list of matters to be checked by the local authorities when granting permission for sea use, and for publicising them as guidelines.

New guidelines would help clarify rules on promoting sustainable energy offshore that were included in the basic plan on ocean energy approved by the cabinet in April 2013, while also promoting low-carbon energy generation.

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