Ocean currents, such as the Kuroshio Current, are expected to be effectively used as marine renewable energy in order to supply sustainable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. IHI is aiming to realize power generation using an ocean current and is working toward development of a floating type ocean current turbine system.
Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) extending outside Japanese territorial waters is the world’s sixth largest EEZ. Development of marine renewable energy in the EEZ needs to be actively promoted from the viewpoints of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and energy security. As seen in the map on the next page, the ocean current known as the Kuroshio Current flows near the coastal areas of Japan stably throughout the year. Accordingly, it is expected that use of its enormous energy will allow us to establish a new clean and stable source of electricity based on Japan’s own natural energy. In order to realize power generation by using this ocean current, IHI is developing a floating type ocean current turbine system. In this article, we introduce its technological characteristics.