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An industrial and scientific delegation from Japan took part in a conference focusing on off-shore wind power at the Canary Island Oceanic Platform today, where they visited the test bed – a 23 km2 area of sea where several prototypes have been tested, and which is the site for the first off-shore wind turbine in Spain.

The visit was organised by PLOCAN in collaboration with the CDTI (Centre for Industrial Technological Development), NEDO (Organisation for Technological Development and New Energies of Japan) and the JWPA (Japan Wind Power Association), as part of a Japanese mission to Spain that has attended several sessions in Bilbao, Navarre and Madrid.

The purpose of these meetings is for the representatives of Japanese companies to get a better idea of the capabilities of the Spanish industry and identify future challenges that can be tackled jointly. Japan is one of the countries with the best forecasted growth of the off-shore wind power market in the short to medium-term, with special interest in floating wind turbines for deep waters.

The deputy minister of Industry and Energy of the Canary Island Government, Gonzalo Piernavieja, opened the meeting at the PLOCAN facilities in Taliarte, where he pointed out that the Canary Islands have set themselves the challenge of attaining 45% penetration of renewable energies by 2025. He also declared that the target is to install 300 MW of off-shore energy by 2025, as the planning guidelines.

To hit the off-shore wind energy target, Piernavieja said that they want to start with an area of 140 km2 in the south-east of the island of Gran Canaria to develop commercial off-shore generation technologies and test prototypes, which will be done in collaboration with PLOCAN. The deputy minister of Industry and Energy told the delegation that they are in conversations with the Spanish central government to start the process of creating this area as a reserve, with “excellent wind conditions”. 130 km2 of this area will be used for floating wind power generation.

En la inauguración, intervinieron también el vicepresidente de la JWPA, Shigeru Yasu, quien indicó que la Asociación Japonesa de la Energía Eólica es la única que reúne a esta industria en su país, y que la integran 350 empresas, de las que 40 han participado en la visita a PLOCAN y su banco de ensayos. “Tenemos algo que aprender de España y debemos alcanzar alianzas para trabajar juntos Japón y España”, destacó.

The manager of the Canary Island Maritime Cluster, Elba Bueno also intervened before the technologies and the most important projects for the off-shore wind power sector were explained to the visitors.

“ELISA Technology: the first off-shore wind turbine moored to the sea bed without a crane. ELICAN MW Prototype” by the managing director of Esteyco, Carlos García, “W2POWER, the first floating wind platform in Spain, a unique multi-use opportunity for Japan” by the chairman and director general of Technology, Enerocean SL, Pedro Mayorga, “Use of Earth Observation for the maritime environment” by Amaya Atenzia, Commercial Expansion Executive, Earth Observation, GMV, and “Cobra off-shore wind power solutions” by Javier Daza, technical director of Off-shore Wind Power from Cobra Energía, were the presentations scheduled.

Once the technical session in PLOCAN was completed, the Japanese delegation was taken to Jinamar to see the Esteyco prototype wind turbine and the Canary Island Oceanic Platform from shore. On this visit, they were accompanied by Pedro Ortega, the Minister of Economy, Industry, Trade and Knowledge of the Canary Island Government.

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