Japan’s ambitious plans to build tens of gigawatts of offshore wind plant off its coasts in the coming decades is facing a “growing bottleneck” of projects held back by a scarcity of skilled workers – and with it the north-east Asian island nation’s longer-term net zero targets, a new study from the UK-based Carbon Trust has found.

The country’s aspiration to put wind power at sea at the heart of its transition away from fossil-fired and nuclear power, built on the government’s vision of having as much as 45GW of offshore arrays online by 2040, could be stymied by “barriers” including a cross-sectoral labour shortage and a “lack of understanding” of the skills sets needed for the sector to develop “at a commercial level” to help drive Tokyo’s “decarbonisation trajectory”, according to the report.