RWE wants to be big in Japan

The German utility announces negotiations with potential Japanese partners and reveals ambitions for other markets in the region.
Photo: RWE
Photo: RWE

After amalgamating with Eon's renewable energy division, German RWE's appetite for offshore wind has only grown more avid. Last week, the utility disclosed that it had entered Polish offshore wind with the purchase of four development projects, just as the company is making attempts in both Europe and the US. But now RWE wants a piece of the budding Japanese market, RWE Renewables Chief Operating Officer Sven Utermöhlen tells Reuters.

The news is not exactly a big surprise. Already back in April, Eon – whose offshore wind division was recently transferred to RWE – announced that it had entered an offshore wind partnership with Kyuden Mirai Energy. However, this is not the only Japanese business in talks with the German energy company, says Utermöhlen, who declines to put a name on potential partners or projects.

Following the major German asset swap deal, the German utility now owns the second-largest volume of offshore wind capacity after Ørsted – and RWE has big ambitions for the East Asian island nation.

"We want to be a leading offshore player in Japan, definitely a foreign offshore player in Japan," Utermöhlen tells the news agency, adding that the company is also looking into other markets in the region.

"Japan is ... certainly the market where our engagement probably has been the deepest and the longest, but we are also looking at Taiwan, [South] Korea and India."

Japan has set a target to install 10 GW of offshore wind capacity ahead to 2030. To reach this goal, the country's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) designated 11 sites in 5 regions where offshore wind farms can be installed. The Japanese parliament has, though, still not ratified the framework agreement, after which the nation's capacity expansion will be able to begin.

English Edit: Daniel Frank Christensen

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