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Japan Infuriating Enviros By Building 45 New Coal Power Plants

February 2, 2017

By Paul Homewood




From the Daily Caller:


Environmental activists are fuming over Japan’s plans to build as many as 45 new coal-fired power stations in the coming years.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is still firmly behind plans to build coal plants, despite repeated pressures from environmentalists to stop construction of the major new coal plants. Abe wants more new coal plants to make sure the island nation isn’t too reliant on any one source of electricity.

“Japan needs to import 95 per cent of all its energy sources,” Tom O’Sullivan, an energy analyst with Mathyos Global Advisory in Tokyo, told Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “So it’s trying to diversify its fuel sources and it doesn’t want to be too reliant on any one market.”

Most of the coal Japan plans to burn in these plants will be imported from the U.S. or Australia. The country is also building additional natural gas power plants.

Japan is turning to coal power due to attempts to transition the country away from nuclear power. The country previously pledged to abandon nuclear power by the 2030s, with major figures like the former prime minister coming out against nuclear.

Officials promised to replace nuclear power with wind or solar, but this caused the price of electricity to rise by 20 percent. Japan’s government currently aims to restart at least 32 of the 54 reactors it shut down following the Fukushima disaster, and wants nuclear power to account for 20 percent of the nation’s total electricity generated by 2030.

Nuclear power provided 29 percent of Japan’s total electricity before 2011, but will decline to 13.6 percent by 2023 and 1.2 percent by 2040, according to reports. Japan got 24 percent of its electricity from coal in 2010 and the country plans to get more than a third of its power from coal by 2040.

Japan’s transition to green energy hasn’t gone well, and the country likely won’t meet its goals. Japan remains a top importer of oil, coal and natural gas, and the government estimated that importing fuel costs the country more than $40 billion annually.





In 2015, renewables (excl hydro) only accounted for 3.2% of all energy. It does not look as if that situation will change any time soon.




Although Japan’s Paris pledge is to reduce GHG emissions by 26% from 2013 levels, most of this is to be achieved by turning back to nuclear power, planned to account for 22% of electricity generation by 2030.

By contrast, wind and solar will still only be supplying 8.7% of power by then, rising from the current contribution of 3.5%. (See here).

  1. A C Osborn permalink
    February 2, 2017 7:10 pm

    Good for them, I am sick of these enviros bullying countries in to wasting vasts amounts of money for no good reason.

  2. Mike Jackson permalink
    February 2, 2017 7:38 pm

    The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again!

    After half the eco-nuts on the planet ran around behaving like the character in Munch’s The Scream after Fukushima panicking with (perhaps) some minor justification but over-reacting as they always do, we now have the Japanese — I mean, how DARE they?? — taking what action they consider necessary to keep their wheels turning and their lights on. As A C Osborn says, “good for them”. WTF did the Greenies expect? That they would roll over and play dead? Go back to a rural, peasant society? Stop making all the hi-tech electronics that make the average eco-warrior’s life worth living?

    So you won’t let them use nuclear. You don’t want them to use oil (not that they have any anyway). Wind is useless as we are finding out. So what happens? Yes! They use coal! Who would have thought?

    • February 2, 2017 8:09 pm

      There was absolutely no (that is zero) justification for any panicking. They only panic because they have fooled themselves into believing that even the smallest amount of radiation is dangerous.

  3. markl permalink
    February 2, 2017 7:46 pm

    Necessity is the mother of affordable energy. It’s becoming apparent that many countries are only giving lip service to the environmentalists to keep them happy.

    • Hivemind permalink
      February 3, 2017 4:44 am

      Except South Australia. And we all know how badly that ended up.

  4. February 2, 2017 7:57 pm

    I wonder if they are building this type of plant:

    • February 2, 2017 8:22 pm

      They will all be USC. MHI is a major player building them elsewhere in Asia. No new conventional coal plants have been built since about 2006 because of the economics. Conventional coal ~34% thermal efficiency. USC 42-45% depending on size and on coal. ~25% reduction in fuel cost. Essentially no difference in capital cost as more expensive superalloy boiler and turbine bits are offset by smaller boiler, stack scrubber, and cooling towers. Standard sizes ~1000 MW per. US only USC is Turk in Arkansas, smallish at 600MW. Cost $3000/KWe. Break even to Natural gas CCGT about $8/mbtu, and LNG is at or above that now, so Australian coal makes sense for Japan generation.

      • bushwalker permalink
        February 2, 2017 9:14 pm

        With top quality Australian coal (low in everything but carbon) in an ultra-super-critical plant, the emissions intensity is very close to what is achieved in a CCGT.

      • Athelstan permalink
        February 2, 2017 9:23 pm

        Appreciate the facts, a good lesson there I deem bushwalker and ristvan.

      • February 3, 2017 12:36 am

        Well, just a quick reality check. Posted only so Athelstan has clear correct facts. To a first approximation, the heat content of dry bituminous coal and methane (natural gas) are equal (actually, methane is per mole about 5% more, but who cares?). CCGT is at baseload 61% thermally efficient, USC coal at best 45%. Per two molecules of O2, coal produces twice the CO2 of methane. (2C + 2O2 = 2CO2, while 1 CH4 + 2O2 = 1CO2 + 2H2O). Those chemical calculations are normally done in mole fractions, here simplified.

        I like Aussie coal for Japan, but not your emissions math. The correct first order answer is ~.45/.61*0.5 or ~37% the CCGT CO2 emissions of high quality USC coal.

        But that doesn’t matter much, since CO2 will not destroy the planet. Japan made a wise regional economic decision. Go Aussie coal while we in the US go abundant fracked natural gas. We can always sell Japn our abundant coal later.

      • February 7, 2017 11:01 pm

        Thanks for the detail. Interesting.

  5. February 2, 2017 7:57 pm

    Maybe Japanese voters are less inclined to accept economic self-harm in the dubious name of climate policy than many of their western counterparts.

  6. Athelstan permalink
    February 2, 2017 8:00 pm

    Um, call me a cynic but interesting timing here, is it not?

    Shurely naffink to do with “THE TRUMP FOSSIL FUELED EXPERIENCE!”

    Japan quite rightly, thus, has deemed that the green oxygen thieves will no longer dictate to the people of Japan on what they can and what they cannot have.

    A nation which is at the forefront of technological advancement and so thoroughly dependent on human innovation which craves electricity like the plants need solar irradiance to photosynthesize. Further, Nippon is a land which is almost devoid of natural resource unless one counts tectonic adjustments [one day we will somehow harness some of it ref Iceland volcanic thermal superheated steam etc] the possibilities of realizing the massive resources of Australia and the USA and in coal, which is (relatively) cheap, new burn modern coal generating plant – it’s no brainer.

    Have the no brains fookwits Westminster brains trust….. here in the UK – I beg of you………………Is it not way past time to say f**k off to the relentlessly idiot green blob and regressive Berks who would gleefully put us, send us all back in the early Mediaeval insofar as energy and technology is concerned……..TELL THEM then when you’ve f***ed off there, f**K off some more and when you got to there – f**k off all over again?

  7. Ross King permalink
    February 2, 2017 8:25 pm

    Thank you — all of you — who wrote the ‘breath of fresh-air and reason’ comments above.
    These pontificating about how ordinary people should conduct their lives tend never to run the risk of being subject to their voluble & incessant prescriptives for the proles — not to themselves. (Hallloooooo, Bat-Ears, Gore, Obismal (& other hubristic ‘Legacy-seekers’), Leonardo, Fonda and the rest of the glitterati whose sole aim is to boost their box-office receipts.
    I vote for ‘Prole-Power’ and speaking-up for the lives, livelihoods and essentials of the average-Joes … and that includes the cheapest possible provision of power, water, and food.
    The French Revolution teaches us about the fates of those whose egregious behaviour results in the inevitable. What goes around, comes around, given the inability of chinless, brainless, silver-spoon-in-mouth idiots to frame their pronouncements according to the lessons of History.

    • mikewaite permalink
      February 2, 2017 9:41 pm

      Unfortunately what we have to deal with in Britain is the belief expressed originally by , I think one of Harold Wilson’s ministers , which ran something like “at the end of the day you have to admit that the man (/woman) in Whitehall really does know best”.
      This attitude has been encouraged by Govts of all colours and implicitly if not explicitly by the BBC for about 50 years and I doubt if anything now will change it.

      • Ross King permalink
        February 2, 2017 10:30 pm

        Mikewaite … appreciate yr contribution, one which — as an expatriate since 1981 — had not heard before.
        The Legal profession holds that the ultimate wisdom (albeit in a Jury-Room!) is the ‘Average (Wo??!!)man in the Clapham Omnibus’ … right?
        Would that he myriad daily decisions in Whitehall, quarter-backed by the likes of Sir Humphrey Appleby. were subject to better than once-every-election review! (One might imagine them in their sinecured Ivory Towers, being completely immune to — if not totally dismissive of — the crude, distasteful, populist processes of an Election, except insofar as having to cater, perhaps to new puppets as Ministers in due course.
        Had I an American vote, I’d have voted Trump if only to cleanse the Augean Stables (tho’ I’m beginning to think it’s a case of ‘out-of-the-frying-pan’, and ‘into-the-fire!!’)
        Who wd best be the equivalent in U.K.? Farage or Corbyn?
        I shd add that the basic needs of the proles (a vast majority!) have to be addressed by gov’t: facilitating the most effective and cheapest provision of food, warmth & shelter (see Maslow’s Hierarch of Needs). For lack of which, be mindful of Revolutions such as the French & Russian (and I’m prob’ly missing some).

      • Mike Jackson permalink
        February 3, 2017 10:23 pm

        Actually, mikewaite, just for the record the quote goes back even further than me and was used by Douglas Jay in a pamphlet in 1937!

        As with so many memorable quotes by politicians, this one was — according to its author — taken out of context!

  8. February 2, 2017 8:34 pm

    Japan is a country with a common sense energy policy (apart from closing nuclear power stations), they import LNG for gas-fired power stations, but don’t want to rely on just one fuel, hence coal is in the mix. What beauty, there still is hope for mankind, fuel diversity should be the primary principle, not the “green substance” peddled by DECC/BIS during almost 30 years of enviro-vandalism, started by Thatcher.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      February 2, 2017 10:24 pm

      They are also looking into the use of deep sea methane clathrates as fuel, to replace imported natural gas.

      • February 3, 2017 12:43 am

        Yes and for details, see essay Ice that Burns in ebook Blowing Smoke for detailed discussion of their Nankai Trough experiment. Very difficult, in the Japanese sense of that phrase.

  9. Ross King permalink
    February 2, 2017 11:31 pm

    Back-up to Japan having to import fuel.
    Back-up to Adam Smith & Comparative Advantage.
    The Green-Alarmists would have Japan consigned back to the Dark-Ages, because of self-perceived Dirigiste, ‘Case-Proven’ dogma.
    The Japanese — may their Gods bless ’em! — say SURVIVAL COMES FIRST! — and that includes basic needs (see Maslow’ Hierarchy of Needs’).
    NO MORE STARVING, FREEZING GRANNIES AS A RESULT OF DIRIGISTE, ANTI-CHEAP POWER, promoted by the Grant-Seeking, Profit-Seekers troughing at the public purse in the power-distribution biz. To them “CHEAP-POWER” is anathema….. THEY WANT EXPENSIVE POWER WITH THEM AS THE BENEFICIARIES.

  10. February 3, 2017 12:53 am

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Coal-fired power is dead Update…

    Good news for Australia’s flailing economy. It’s a pity she has demonised coal under the weight of “global warming” hysteria, shifting hard to green-energy madness mode, selling more coal than she uses, making energy prices skyrocket, pushing jobs, industry and ’emissions’ offshore.

  11. tom0mason permalink
    February 3, 2017 9:41 am

    Maybe the Japanese are ahead of the game in seeing that solar effects causing events like this on earth may be more likely to happen and a few coal fired generator will help mitigate against it.

    Looks likely Europe and even the UK is in for another serious ‘cold snap’ before March arrives. Interesting to see how well the European electricity generation keeps up.

  12. AlecM permalink
    February 3, 2017 10:16 am

    Keeps my son, an Engineering Consultant in Perth, in a job. There is, of course, near zero Global Warming from CO2.

    IPCC pseudoscience is based on fraud in 1976: bad aerosol optical physics by Sagan and Pollack, then Hansen. This reverses the sign of the real AGW, which was from Asian aerosols reducing cloud albedo during the 1980s and 1990s.

    The planet has since recovered – we now head into the new LIA.

    • tom0mason permalink
      February 3, 2017 11:05 am

      Indeed Sagan and Pollack, then Hansen have a lot to answer for, if the IPCC pseudoscience is not reversed soon the next generation’s prospects look very dim.

      • CheshireRed permalink
        February 3, 2017 1:25 pm

        Trump’s US exit from Paris will focus a lot of minds and give a voice to scepticism that has previously been brutally suppressed. The science will be re-visited like never before and, obviously, will be found wanting. Never mind the nuclear clock, time is ticking on AGW theory. Its days are numbered.

  13. February 3, 2017 11:12 am

    Cutting the green c**p is likely to get another outing in the UK, after the recent controversial “Pause” in energy bills, Brexit provides a perfect smokescreen for them to resume their upwards trend to keep the Green Gravy Train going, with the govt shamefully pointing the finger at the companies:

    • John Palmer permalink
      February 3, 2017 1:41 pm

      Npower today announced massive energy tariff price rises (avg c.10% apparently). Might it just be possible that the others in the Big Six will follow suit!

  14. David Bishop permalink
    February 3, 2017 11:35 am

    This piece by Tony Lodge at CapX is apposite:

  15. February 3, 2017 12:23 pm

    The pinko blob is running scared, and so it should.

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