Japan plans floating wind power for Fukushima coast

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Floating turbines better suited to deep water

* Emergency budget for rebuiling northeast coast region

* Wind under one percent of Japan energy mix

TOKYO, (Reuters) – Japan will join the race to develop floating wind turbines to use in deepwater off its tsunami-stricken northern Pacific coast as it rethinks energy sources after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

It aims to outpace the leaders in the sector in Europe, trade ministry official Masanori Sato said on Tuesday.

“In order to take lead in offshore wind power, we want domestic studies and developments to take place and manufacturers to boost capabilities,” said Sato.

“From the viewpoint of supporting reconstruction and promoting wind power, we believe it is good to pursue research and development for offshore wind farms,” he said.

In the next five years, Japan plans to spend 10 to 20 billion yen to install six or more floating turbines off the northeast coast. It will work with firms including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Fuji Heavy Industries , Sato said.

Globally, Norway leads the way on floating turbines with a 2009 pilot project while other countries including Britain and Portugal have studied the technology…..

For more on this article: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/13/japan-wind-idUSL3E7KD0K820110913

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