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Toshiba to produce ‘state of the art’ wind turbine

Toshiba is planning to develop a “state of the art” wind turbine as part of its move away from coal and into renewable energy.

The Japanese industrial giant has vowed to reject new contracts for construction work at coal-fired power plants and aims to increase investment in renewable energy.

It announced it was planning domestic production of a wind turbine in a presentation for its second-quarter financial results, but did not provide any further details – including whether the model would be for onshore or offshore wind.

The conglomerate did add, however, that it is “preparing a bid for offshore wind power”, but did not say where or when.

It aims to increase investment in its renewable energy business – from JPY 190 billion ($1.8 billion) in the 2019 financial year (1 April to 31 March) to JPY 650 billion in the 2030 fiscal year, with about a third of this in solar and wind power infrastructure.

Spending in this area would also include investments in green hydrogen, virtual power plants and data services.

Toshiba announced its plans to ramp up renewable energy investments as part of a partial decarbonisation programme. Its latest spending updates also follow Japan pledging to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, and ahead of the country’s first fixed-bottom foundation offshore wind tenders.

The Japanese conglomerate plans to halve greenhouse gas emissions across its supply chain by the 2030 fiscal year, and by 80% in 2050 (both from a 2019 baseline), create products and services that contribute to reducing emissions, and also “promote adaptation measures”.

Toshiba had made moves in offshore wind in the early 2010s, buying Japanese developer Sigma Power Janex, and joining a consortium assessing the feasibility of floating offshore wind off Japan.

To date, however, it has no stakes in offshore wind capacity in its native Japan, or abroad, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly.

More recently, Toshiba was responsible for marketing, selling, installing and operating Senvion’s turbines in Japan. It was also named among potential buyers of the struggling German manufacturer, before Siemens Gamesa ultimately secured a final deal for some of its assets.

Toshiba has not produced wind turbines independently before, though was the largest shareholder in Korean manufacturer Unison, before divesting its stake in August.

However, the two companies are due to continue their partnership in the wind power sector, according to Korean news site e2news.

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