Photo: L to R: António Sarmento; Shigeru Ushio (Courtesy of WavEC Offshore Renewables)

Portugal and Japan deepen marine energy ties to advance energy transition

A special online conference has been organized by Portugal’s leading marine energy R&D centre, WavEC Offshore Renewables, to provide a platform for Japanese energy firms, institutions and government officials to uncover key marine renewable energy opportunities in the region.

L to R: António Sarmento; Shigeru Ushio (Courtesy of WavEC Offshore Renewables)
L to R: António Sarmento; Shigeru Ushio (Courtesy of WavEC Offshore Renewables)

As the climate crisis intensifies and the race to net-zero gathers pace, the nations of Portugal and Japan have established a joint aim to ramp up trade and investment relations, reigniting a long-standing relationship with a focus on marine renewables and ocean-related activity.

In that regard, a new event – titled ‘Portugal and Japan: Major Developments in Offshore Renewable Energies’ – has been organized in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan in Portugal that will be held on 30 November 2021.

Participants will include Japan’s largest investor in Portugal, Marubeni Offshore Wind Development Corporation, Nagasaki Marine Industry Cluster Promotion Association, Kyuden Mirai Energy, Iwatani Corporation, Future Energy Consultant, and the University of Tokyo’s Department of Ocean Technology.

The European counterparts include EDP NEW Centre for New Energy Technologies, Ocean Winds, Principle Power, ASM Industries, CorPower Ocean,Eco Wave Power, TechnipFMC, and Hidromod.

António Sarmento, WavEC president, said: “This event presents a unique opportunity to explore Euro-Asian collaboration opportunities in business and research across marine renewable energies and other blue economy sectors.

“As the world has witnessed from the COP26 gathering, an enormous challenge lies ahead to limit global warming and protect our planet. To a large extent this will rely on successful navigation of the future energy transition, departing from fossil fuel electricity generation – which accounts for around 40pc of global CO2 emissions alone.

“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 energy production could grow 20-fold this decade reaching 10GW of installed capacity, with floating offshore wind, tidal and wave plants providing mainstream power generation, spurring forward a global blue economy.

“As proud maritime nations with a passion for innovation, we see great potential for synergy between Portugal and Japan as part of this global movement”.

Japan’s Ambassador to Portugal Shigeru Ushio added: “Despite being located at the extreme points of the Euro-Asia continent, our two nations remain good partners sharing fundamental values such as liberty, democracy, human rights and rule of law.

“Portugal benefits from an excellent, stable business environment with a well-trained and intellectual workforce, delivering services with highly competitive prices compared to central and north European countries.

“These factors have attracted significant investments from Japan. Due to our unique and long-standing relationship there is strong potential for further collaboration and business growth with a specific focus on marine energy and the blue economy at large”.