Japanese telecoms giant NTT said it will invest in offshore wind and solar as part of a $1 trillion yen ($9.3bn) push into renewable energy.
NTT wants to have 7.5GW of renewable capacity under its wing by 2030, up from just 300MW now, as it seeks to decarbonise its own power consumption and open up a new business line in a growth area, reported Japanese financial news outlet Nikkei.
The giant telecoms group could also seek to cut through the transmission obstacles that have stymied renewable energy growth in Japan by building its own transmission network, it was reported.
The push deep into renewables will be led by NTT Anode Energy, the group’s ‘smart energy’ subsidiary that was set up in 2019.
A targeting of offshore wind by NTT will add to the momentum behind the renewable source, which got a big boost last week when the government launched the first in a series of auctions designed to spur large-scale development.
Major Japanese power utilities have already thrown their hats into the ring as domestic and international offshore wind players.
Kaori Tachibana, an associate director at IHS Markit, said the trend for more major corporates not usually associated with renewables to target offshore wind was a positive message for the sector. "We will continue to see more companies [enter the sector]," she told an online seminar organised by the Asia Wind Energy Association.
Japan’s parliament in 2019 passed legislation clearing the way for first offshore wind tenders to take place this year to underpin long-term development of the sector, while the government has set a 10GW combined onshore and offshore goal for 2030.
Global market-leader Orsted has already thrown its hat into the ring with a joint venture with local giant to bid for the Choshi City project that’s one of the other initial development areas.
Major contractors have also started gearing up to handle Japanese projects, with a spate of activity in the vessel sector over recent months.