Britain wants to take part in developing Japan's offshore wind power via options ranging from the participation of its energy companies to providing financing and insurance, Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps told Reuters.
The Group of Seven rich nations have agreed to speed up the development of renewable energy following their two-day meeting in Sapporo in northern Japan, pledging to collectively increase offshore wind capacity by 150 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 and solar capacity to more than 1 terawatt. The UK is one of the world's largest offshore wind markets, with more than 10 GW of installed capacity.
It plans to boost its capacity to as much as 50 GW by the end of the decade, with BP and Shell actively expanding in the area.
"I think the British input (in Japan) is probably both the energy companies - the physical side of it - but also the finance side of it, the finance mechanism, the insurance, the technical know-how consultancy," Shapps said.
Prior to the G7 energy and climate summit in Sapporo, Shapps spent a couple of days discussing possible cooperation with Japan's government and industry, he said. Japan has launched a second major round of public auctions to select operators for four new areas capable of generating 1.8 GW of offshore wind power.
It wants to install up to 10 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 and up to 45 GW by 2040. Shapps did not specifically mention the offshore wind power auctions but said there were "very broad areas of cooperation between UK and Japan" in offshore wind development. He also noted the targets set by G7 on solar and offshore wind generation were "overall" for the group.
"It is not broken down into individual countries and I suspect that some countries will overachieve on the overall comparative input partly because of geography... or windier places," Shapps said.
(Reuters - Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Tom Hogue)
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