April 16, 2021

For illustration - Credit: Fokke

For illustration – Credit: Fokke

Japan aims to double its inter-regional power grid capacity by adding up to 23 gigawatts to help speed expansion of renewable energy such as offshore wind farms, the Nikkei business daily said on its online news site late on Thursday.

The move comes as Japan gears up its drive to expand cleaner energy to help the country achieve its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, and as the weak power grid has been a hindrance to the spread of renewable energy in Japan.

There is a plan to build undersea cables to connect the northern island of Hokkaido and the main Honshu island where power demand is high, Nikkei said, citing a plan compiled by the industry ministry and the Organization for Cross-Regional Coordination of Transmission Operators (OCCTO).

Other plans include boosting transmission landlines between the northern Tohoku region and the Tokyo metropolitan areas on Honshu island, and reinforcing grids between the southern island of Kyushu and Honshu, Nikkei said.

Details are expected to be announced later in April and construction could start in 2022 at the earliest, Nikkei said. 

(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi. Editing by Mark Potter)

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