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Portugal and Japan revive maritime connection for energy transition


WavEC President Anto? Nio Sarmento and Japanese Ambassador to Portugal Shigeru Ushio

Posted on November 22, 2021 at 1:21 PM by

The maritime executive

[By: WavEC Offshore Renewables]

Portugal and Japan are rekindling a historic maritime connection in their efforts to boost the future energy transition and boost the growth of the blue economy.

As the first Europeans to reach Japan, the Portuguese maintained a strong imprint in the Far East through cultural, economic and scientific exchanges. However, as the climate crisis intensifies and the race for net zero accelerates, the two countries aim to intensify their trade and investment relationship, thereby rekindling a long-standing relationship with a focus on energies. renewable marine and ocean related activities.

A special online conference hosted by Portugal’s leading marine energy R&D center, WavEC Offshore Renewables, will provide a platform for leading Japanese energy companies, institutions and government officials to discover key opportunities in the region.

“Portugal and Japan: Major Developments in Offshore Renewable Energy” will take place from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm (Western European Time) on November 30, organized in collaboration with the Japanese Embassy in Portugal. To register for the event click here.

Participants include the largest Japanese investor in Portugal, Marubeni Offshore Wind Development Corporation, Nagasaki Marine Industry Cluster Promotion Association, Kyuden Mirai Energy, Iwatani Corporation, Future Energy Consultant and the Department of Ocean Technologies at the University of Tokyo. European counterparts include EDP NEW Center for New Energy Technologies, Ocean Winds, Principle Power, ASM Industries, CorPower Ocean, Eco Wave Power, TechnipFMC and Hidromod.

WavEC President António Sarmento said: “This event offers a unique opportunity to explore opportunities for Euro-Asian collaboration in business and research in marine renewable energy and other sectors of the blue economy. As the world saw at COP26, a huge challenge awaits us to limit global warming and protect our planet. To a large extent, this will depend on successfully navigating the future energy transition, starting from fossil fuel-based electricity generation – which alone accounts for around 40% of global CO2 emissions. While the task is daunting, there is hope ahead in the form of a more comprehensive green energy mix, combining established renewable energy sources with new and emerging technologies. It is possible that previously untapped ocean marine power generation could be multiplied by 20 this decade to reach 10 GW of installed capacity, with floating wind, tidal and wave power plants providing the main power generation, boosting a global blue economy. . As proud maritime nations passionate about innovation, we see great potential for synergy between Portugal and Japan as part of this global movement.

Japanese Ambassador to Portugal Shigeru Ushio said: “Despite being located at the ends of the Euro-Asian continent, our two nations remain good partners sharing fundamental values ​​such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Portugal enjoys an excellent and stable business environment with a well-trained and intellectual workforce, offering services at very competitive prices compared to Central and Northern European countries. These factors have attracted significant investment from Japan. Due to our unique and long-standing relationship, there is a strong potential for collaboration and business growth with a particular focus on marine energy and the blue economy in general.

Chairman and CEO of Marubeni Offshore Wind Development Corporation Hisafumi Manabe said: “Cultural, economic and scientific exchanges between Japan and Portugal, based on our historic friendship, are alive and well today. Marubeni’s major investment in Portugal is a good example, being a shareholder in several companies including TrustEnergy (electricity producer), GGND (gas network concessionaire) and AGS (water sector). Geographically, our nations share many similarities to the sea, not only due to vast coastal areas but also our deep waters, which demand innovative ocean energy solutions such as floating platforms. Japan has additional climatic challenges with earthquakes and typhoons. New technology is rapidly being developed and its success will likely rely on high-level international collaboration to reduce costs and attract the market. “

Professor at the University of Tokyo in the Department of Ocean Technologies Ken Takagi said: “Portugal and Japan share a very unique relationship and although the oil and gas sector has traditionally been the driving force behind collaboration in marine technologies, we are now witnessing a seismic shift towards renewables. None of our countries have large oil or gas deposits close to the coast, which only underscores the major requirement for the growth of renewable energies to meet demand and promote energy resilience and independence. “

Ocean Winds Iberia Country Manager José Pinheiro said: “Our vision is to drive innovation to support a carbon neutral world. We aim to make offshore wind one of the main sources of renewable energy, supporting the energy transition by expanding with large-scale commercial projects and offshore floating wind. “

Koto Miyagawa from Kyuden Mirai Energy said, “Japan has limited energy resources and has traditionally relied on imports from other countries for most fossil fuels. However, like Portugal, we share a long coastline, offering major potential for developing renewable marine energies. Kyuden Mirai Energy is currently carrying out a tidal power demonstration project in the Nagasaki region, one of Japan’s largest trading ports, which sparked relations with Portugal around 450 years ago. On the strength of our historical ties, we wish to cooperate with each other in this new field to exchange ideas, exchange human resources and technologies. “

WavEC is a world-renowned “center of excellence” focused on the development of marine renewable energies and offshore aquaculture through R&D, knowledge transfer and innovation. The non-profit organization strongly supports the EU’s Horizon 2020 program and has carried out more than 65 R&D projects, or around € 12 million of funding invested in the marine renewable energy sector. He has worked in collaboration with more than 250 partners in 25 countries.

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