Energy that is generated and stored offshore needs transporting, just like we transport oil today, so Japan have created a new breed of “Energy tankers.”


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Every year the world is getting more and more of its energy from renewable energy, so much so that last year according to the IEA new fossil fuel energy generation projects represented less than a sixth of the total. And while this is a great thing when it comes to deep sea wind turbines, like the massive ones GE are developing, companies are wondering how to get the energy they produce back to shore.


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One answer is to create the modern equivalent of an oil tanker, except rather than transporting oil which can then be used to generate electricity the tankers instead carry the electricity produced from the wind turbines in giant battery banks. It’s odd how things come full circle …


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Unveiled the other week the Power ARK 100, which will be an autonomous drone ship, is a 100 TEU trimaran specially designed for transferring renewable energy in Japan’s coastal waters, and upon its completion in 2025 it will carry 100 grid batteries, equating to 200 MWh of power which is equivalent to the total electricity consumption of 22,000 Japanese households in a day, PowerX said.


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The vessel will be able to travel up to 300 kilometres when running only on electricity and will be able to unlock long-distance, intercontinental clean power transmission when it’s powered by both electricity and sustainable biodiesel fuels, the company said.


See the ship concept in action


PowerX will also build a gigawatt-scale battery assembly facility in Japan to mass-produce batteries for the Power Transfer Vessels. The factory’s annual production capacity will achieve 1 GWh by 2024, and will eventually reach 5 GWh by 2028, PowerX said.


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The Japanese government plans to develop 10 GW of offshore wind capacity by fiscal 2030 and 30-45 GW by fiscal 2040.

According to PowerX, Japan is surrounded by deep coastal waters which limit the potential range for setting up offshore wind farms so this is a neat solution. PowerX intends to change how the world consumes and transfers renewable energy by providing a unique solution that can lift the restriction on power generation location, which will allow a greater flexibility for offshore wind farm locations, especially for an island country like Japan, the company said.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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