For over a decade, Japan’s IHI Corporation has been working on Kairyu, a sea turbine that can harness the power of the ocean currents. Developed in collaboration with NEDO, the 100kW and 330-ton tidal power plant features a 66-foot central cylinder with two extra ones on each side, each carrying 36-foot turbine blades attached to them.


In February 2022, the firm announced it had completed a 3.5 year-long trial and that the turbine should be expected to be up-and-running sometime in the 2030s.

japan's new ocean turbine could harvest endless green power


JAPAN’S OCEAN TURBINE COULD PRODUCE 205 Gigawatts of electricity


In the field of energy regeneration, photovoltaic power generation and wind-power generation are becoming

widespread. Meanwhile, Japan, having the world’s sixth-largest territorial waters and an exclusive economic zone, needs ocean renewable energy to be realized.


A variety of approaches to the realization of ocean renewable energy have been proposed. Approaches include current in the open sea, such as the Kuroshio, to rotate turbine rotors; tidal flow power generation, which uses tidal flow in a strait or the like to rotate turbine rotors; wave-activated power generation, which uses the vertical motion of waves; ocean thermal energy conversion, which uses the temperature difference between surface and bottom; tidal (level difference) power generation; and seawater concentration difference power generation.


Japan is located near the Kuroshio, one of the world’s most powerful ocean currents, and one estimate states that if the energy present in the Kuroshio could be harnessed, it would amount to approximately 205 GW, which is comparable to Japan’s total electric power generation. Ocean current power generation is a harvesting method of ocean renewable energy. This energy regeneration technology is intended to effectively utilize the Kuroshio Current and is suited to Japan.


The Kairyu system will be installed below sea level along Japan’s eastern coast. Once it is secured to the ocean floor via anchor lines and power cable, the turbine will find the most efficient position and start generating power through the water current. 


project info:


name: Kairyu turbine

developed by: IHI Corporation & NEDO