Japan to phase out 100 coal-fired power units to cut CO2 emissions


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Strange that there is no mention of gas.

Here is Sendai our main power plant is gas powered.

After the Onagawa nuclear plant was closed (due to the tsunami) the aging Shiogama coal fired plant was very quickly replaced with a new generation gas plant.

The gas is piped from Russia down the west coast of Japan with branches coming ashore at various places. The Shiogama plant is supplied by a branch that comes ashore at Sakata in Yamagata Prefecture and then piped to Miyagi from the West coast to the East..

This massive infrastructure and very substantial financial investment is not limited to Tohoku. It extends all the way down to Kansai and Kanto.

Gas is also shipped in from Australia, Brunei and Malaysia.

Could not mentioning this be an accident?


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Well, even though that I’m not a big fan of nuclear, at all, this is still a big step in the right direction. Especially considering the fact that the coal fired power plants in question are old, and like they said in the article, low efficiency. And whether they’re replacing them with gas in part, a big part of the replacement is going to come from renewable energy, so let’s not forget that.

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Good. Now if China and India would stop burning coal, and if Brazil would stop burning down its forests, we might actually make some headway in the fight against rising CO2 emissions.

It is unfortunate that while China makes more Electric Vehicles than the rest of the world combined, it powers those vehicles largely with coal power, so the only gain is in China's balance of payments to the oil producing countries. The amount of CO2 emitted might actually be better with gasoline powered cars, than with coal powered EVs.

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The link above is to an article that previously appeared in JapanTimes on the subject of renewable energy. While geothermal currently supplies about 0.2% of Japan's energy, it has the potential to supply much, much more, perhaps 10%.

Here in California, another entity with abundant geothermal resources, we currently get more than 5% of our electrical energy from geothermal. The California Energy Commission has estimated that the state could get 7% of its energy from locally produced geothermal.

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Clean local power generation and storage are what we need, but "local" doesn't scale like the big 1-2 GW nuclear plants. 39GW is a bunch of power to replace.

Everyone knows about solar power, what about wind, wave, and geothermal? There are also very efficient building techniques which don't need cooling in the summer and just a little heat in the winter. Of course, all of these need to be planned well before new construction happens to be cost effective. Solar works about 3.5-6 hrs a day, so having power available the rest of the time is where local storage comes in. A few PowerWall units for a home can address the storage needs and smooth out the demand-side from the grid. Industrial-sized powerwall installations have happened a few places in the world and have been much more cost effective than anyone predicted. I'm not trying to advertise Tesla solutions, but they've been the guys helping post-hurricane island cities in the Carribean and Australian cities with 100 MWs

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The ministry plans to set up an expert panel ...................great another one !

Thats all these guys can do isnt , set up another panel, betcha they dont mean solar panel either.

Geothermal should be used here more being as how they seem to think every hortel has a natural thermal hot spa etc, cant they exploit the nature for electric power a bit better

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Japan is also promoting its coal technology in developing countries, arguing that some parts of the world cannot afford to quit coal yet and that improving efficiency is a more realistic option.

Like the mega plant being built in Bangladesh - JICA as ever laundering taxes into corporate welfare in the guise of ODA. The irony of that nation's susceptibility to sea level rises is blissfully lost.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Reducing coal power generation by 100 plants is a great step, however, as an island nation, Japan could be doing so much more with Ocean Energy. While there are challenges, it already has one of only two Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion plants in the world. Scaling that up to commercial size would provide a renewable export rather than trying to peddle coal elsewhere. Allowing energy policy to be regionally varied ala Hawaii’s example could also significantly drive renewable adoption. Make utilities realize that renewables can be an opportunity rather than a burden and there will be no one wanting to buy power from a coal plant.

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The drawback of most forms of renewable energy is it is seldom a reliable power source upon which to base load your grid. All but perhaps geothermal power have production peaks tide to time of day, such as solar, or wind conditions that may or may not match peak power demand. Hydroelectric power has seasonal variations due to rainfall and river flows. At those times when renewable power sources are not generating enough energy to satisfy demand a system needs another power source that can reliably brought on and off line at wiil to match generation to demand. What then is to be that source of power? Gas-thermal? How do you feel about being reliant on Russia for your gas supply? Ask the Poles and Ukrainians how well relying on Russia for natural gas has worked for them. Nuclear? Global phobias over nuclear power, some justified to a degree, many not. Just a question for the gentle reader to ponder.

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Japan is also promoting its coal technology in developing countries, arguing that some parts of the world cannot afford to quit coal yet and that improving efficiency is a more realistic option.

Wonderful Japan putting its interest aside and always thinking, caring and coming to the rescue of 3rd world countries.


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