RWE showcases offshore wind’s potential at Tokyo expo

Jens Orfelt, RWE president of Asia-Pacific of Offshore Development, speaks during Smart Energy Week – Wind Expo 2024 at Tokyo Big Sight, Japan, Thursday. Next to him is Niels Steenberg, executive general manager for offshore in Asia-Pacific at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. Courtesy of RWE

RWE, a multinational utility company based in Germany, showcased the economic potential of offshore wind power in Japan as it has started working on a project in the country’s western waters in partnership with local companies, the German firm said Friday. Jens Orfelt, RWE Renewables president of Asia-Pacific of Offshore Development and Tom Walsh, head of offshore development in Japan, promoted their company’s ongoing engagement in building a 684 megawatt-capacity offshore wind farm off the coast of the cities of Murakami and Tainai in Niigata Prefecture. They said the project, in collaboration with Japan’s major trading firm Mitsui & Co. and utility firm Osaka Gas, will be a new landmark for the rigorous global initiative to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. “The key is to create a competitive and conducive market environment for the offshore wind industry,” Orfelt said during a panel discussion during the Smart Energy Week – Wind Expo 2024 in Tokyo held from Wednesday to Friday.”With [Japan’s] clear commitment through long-term offshore wind targets, structured annual auctions and 30,000 kilometer-long shoreline, there are several reasons to be optimistic about the future for offshore wind in Japan. This is also why we have identified Japan, alongside Korea, as the most attractive and prospective markets for offshore wind across the Asia Pacific.”In December 2023, the Japanese government selected RWE to be part of a global consortium alongside Mitsui and Osaka Gas to develop, construct and operate a fixed-bottom offshore wind farm off the country’s west coast. It came after the German firm opened its Tokyo office in 2019.The company, according to an official, now aims to leverage its global capabilities and expertise to develop, build and operate large-scale offshore wind farms in Japan with its partner companies.

Orfelt said during the expo that RWE has recently been investing heavily in building up local capabilities in Japan and Korea. He added that the company’s latest win, regarding the Japanese auction for the Murakami-Tainai project, was an exemplary case of “how international competencies and knowledge, together with local expertise, can create synergies and greater impact for a better tomorrow.” “Collaborative spirit and competitive dynamics will take us a step closer to helping Japan to become a global player in renewable energy by expanding offshore wind capacity, which is an integral part of the country’s sustainable energy goal to achieve net zero by 2050,” Orfelt said. “And we are honored to have been selected, together with our Japanese partners, as the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s partner of choice to deliver the Murakami-Tainai project. “Walsh said that his company’s Japanese office had started with just a handful of colleagues and has now become a vibrant office comprising over 50 professionals who represent a “truly diverse and inclusive” workforce that covers all functions necessary to deliver full-service offerings. A day before the expo, the 11th Asia Offshore Wind Day was held in Tokyo on the sidelines of Smart Energy Week. Walsh, on that day, delivered a keynote speech on the promising outlook of the Japanese offshore wind market. “On a positive note, Japan is preparing a new framework for floating offshore wind power, which will bring long-term economic and environmental benefits down the line,” Walsh said. “Against the backdrop of RWE’s extensive offshore wind experience, we are already developing a multi-gigawatt global pipeline of activity to deploy in the 2030s and beyond. “Over 70,000 participants from 1,600 companies from across the world were present at Japan’s biggest wind energy show and joined 토토 some 200 discussion sessions during the event.

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