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Japan pushes for undersea cables to solve wind power puzzle

New budget advances effort to connect windy Hokkaido to electricity-hungry Tokyo

Offshore wind turbines operate near the Belgium coast. Japan has been a laggard in the field, but some say Hokkaido has the potential to become a hub for the renewable energy source.    © Reuters

SAPPORO, Japan -- Hokkaido carries the potential to supply Tokyo and other parts of Japan with offshore wind energy, but the lack of adequate transmission capacity has kept the northernmost prefecture from becoming a hub for the renewable resource.

Japan looks to allocate 5 billion yen ($43.4 million) in this fiscal year's supplementary budget toward a feasibility study for undersea cables that could help Hokkaido become a destination for offshore wind operators. The prefecture enjoys wide coastlines and strong winds over coastal waters.

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