Renewable Energy Institute released "Proposals for the Coexistence of Offshore Wind with Local Communities and the Fishing Industry ." (Originally published in Japanese on 7 June 2022)
Large-scale deployment of renewable energy is the cornerstone to achieving a sustainable society. As the world moves away from fossil fuels, renewable energy has become even more important as a measure to enhance national security and accelerate energy transition. Among them, offshore wind, which generates electricity through wind farms at sea, has a large potential, and in recent years, rapid deployment and cost reductions have been achieved widely across countries around the world. In particular, Japan has a long coastline and an enormous sea area, the sixth-largest exclusive economic zone in the world, offshore wind is an extremely promising renewable energy.
In preparing this proposal, Renewable Energy Institute established the Study Group on the Coexistence of Offshore Wind with Local Communities and the Fishing Industry. With the help of the group's experts, rules and standards to make coexistence possible in offshore wind were examined. While referring to progressive examples from overseas and practices, including customs specific to Japan, the group compiled 14 proposals through an evaluation of current systems and comparisons with sample cases.
The aim of these proposals is to make the regional coordination process for offshore wind development transparent and standardized, to give each stakeholder predictability, to gradually remove the uncertainties and inadequacies of offshore wind, to reduce regional confusion, and to expand and promote offshore wind in harmony with the community.
We hope that our proposals will contribute to the development and further expansion of offshore wind in Japan that coexists with local communities and the fishing industry.
＜Table of Contents＞
List of Proposals
Chapter 1: Offshore Wind Projects and Related Stakeholders
Section 1: Creation of a system led by the local government for promoting the understanding of local residents and fishermen
Section 2: Identification of stakeholders at an early stage
Section 3: Establishment of a transparent and objective local coordination process
Chapter 2: Importance of Objective Data
Section 1: Standardization of fishing industry impact studies
Section 2: Clarification of who administers fishing industry impact studies
Section 3: Mitigating and compensating fishing industry impact
Section 4: Disclosure and sharing of scientific data
Chapter 3: Harmonious Coexistence with Local Communities
Section 1: Standardizing the process for creating local and fishing industry promotion measures
Section 2: Funding for local promotion measures
Chapter 4: Necessary Systems and Frameworks
Section 1: Consolidation of an offshore wind policy headquarters and establishment of a one-stop shop
Section 2: Allocation of responsibilities between the central and local governments
Section 3: Clarification of units in charge of local coordination
Section 4: Changeover to a centralized system and local coordination
Chapter 5: Creation of Guidelines for Regional Coexistence
(1) Items related to the study and planning stage
(2) Items related to the preparations stage
(3) Items related to the construction and operation stage
In areas where offshore wind is envisaged to be introduced, at an early stage, local authorities will take the initiative to organize study groups on offshore wind development. The national government financially supports such study groups.
The Fisheries Agency, in cooperation with the prefectures, should identify fishermen in actual operation and promote the preparation of a “Fishermen Map” that shows the status of fishermen in operation.
|Proposal 3||The national government should prepare transparent and objective rules for regional coordination and the prefectures implement those rules.|
|Proposal 4||Standardize the fishery impact studies, including the entity conducting the survey, the burden of survey costs, the process for determining study methods, and the study item, frequency, and timing. The national government should compile them as guidelines.|
|Proposal 5||In order to verify the exact impact, fishery impact studies should be conducted in parallel with regional coordination from an early stage of project planning. The national government and the selected operator will be responsible for the fisheries impact survey before and after the selection of the developer, respectively. In contrast, the actual survey will be commissioned by a third-party organization familiar with the sea area in the field, such as a prefectural fisheries experiment station.|
|Proposal 6||For fisheries compensation, standardize the criteria for fishers receiving payment and the calculation method for compensation nationally. The standardized calculation method should calculate the compensation amount and implement settlements based on objective data. The national government should lead discussions to ensure that the whole process is carried out properly.|
|Proposal 7||The data obtained from fisheries impact studies should be made public, bearing in mind the convenience of local fishermen and considering the impact after publication.|
|Proposal 8||Regional and fisheries promotion measures should be discussed and prepared by the communities and fishermen concerned. The national government should standardize the process and, together with local authorities, present a standard framework for regional and fisheries promotion measures. It will also financially support the activities of the various regions.|
|Proposal 9||Regional and fisheries development measures should be developed by local stakeholders and realized together with local authorities. For the budget for the realization of such promotion measures, in addition to the current funds provided by the operators, consideration should be given to applying the Power Supply Location Measures Grant Scheme to offshore wind power.|
|Proposal 10||Establish a single command post for offshore wind policy. In addition, establish a one-stop contact point for project procedures to facilitate and speed up the processes and reduce the burdens of stakeholders and the administration.|
|Proposal 11||Clarify the division of roles between the national and local governments. The prefectures are responsible for regional coordination, including the identification of stakeholders. Municipalities are responsible for the management of study groups and review meetings and are the main actors in the formulation and implementation of subsequent promotion measures. The national government financially supports these efforts and, as a national policy, ensures the introduction of a centralized method that is comparable to international standards and the development of marine spatial plans.|
|Proposal 12||For rational and transparent regional coordination, a coordinator should be appointed on the side of the selected operator and regional stakeholders, the procedures for consultation should be clarified, and discussions should be based on objective data.|
|Proposal 13||Local coordination should be included in the “Japanese Centralized System” being considered by the government. In particular, initial regional coordination should be carried out with prefectures and municipalities under national leadership.|
|Proposal 14||The national government should formulate “Guidelines for Regional Coexistence (provisional title)”, while also listening to the opinions of local authorities and businesses. The guidelines are intended for operators, local authorities and residents, including fishermen, and specify the roles and procedures of each stakeholder according to the development process of offshore wind power, and are to be used as reference information for regional coordination and symbiosis.|