Nine years after Fukushima: Japan relies on coal

The government in Tokyo, many new fossil fuel power stations is due to the construction of the pillory. Renewable are said to be too expensive. view of the un

Nine years after Fukushima: Japan relies on coal

The government in Tokyo, many new fossil fuel power stations is due to the construction of the pillory. Renewable are said to be too expensive.

view of the under construction coal block Yokosuka in Tokyo Bay photo: Noriko Hayashi/NYT/Redux/laif

TOKYO taz | When the Fukushima Daiichi drives the car to the NUCLEAR power plant, happened on the last quarter of the distance from Tokyo, the new construction of two modern coal-fired power plants of Japan. They arise in Nakoso 67 km in Hirono 24 kilometers South of the ruins of the damaged nuclear plant. In the first power plant, the auxiliary boiler has been running since January already, in September, the plant goes to the grid. The construction of the second Kiln is advanced, he is to deliver from September 2021 electricity. Together, the plants come in a capacity of 1,080 megawatts, as much as a modern nuclear reactor. The total cost of 2.5 billion euros, however, are significantly cheaper.

The new coal-fired power plants on the Pacific coast are unique in the world of energy policy: While the Western world is leaving the coal in order to achieve their climate change objectives, keeps Japan is rigidly fixed to the current extraction from the black Gold.

In the past two years, 9 coal-fired power plants with a capacity of 2.4 GW in operation. 13 more reactors with a total capacity of 8.4 gigawatts are under construction. Power plants below 112.5 megawatts may be built without environmental review. This coal policy is international to a strong rejection. At the UN climate summit in September in New York Premier Shinzo Abe was allowed to keep, therefore, no question of that.

While Japan more and more on coal, , sets worldwide, there is an opposite Trend: The global coal-fired power generation decreased in the year 2019, 3 percent. Thus, the CO2-emissions from electricity production by 2 percent. According to information from the British climate think tanks in Amber, released on Monday a Report that in each case the strongest reduction since 1990.

Particularly strong, the decline of the coal-fired power generation, with 24 per cent in the EU, where the decline was fully compensated by renewable energies, and with 16 percent in the United States, where one-third is replaced by renewables and two-thirds by Gas. The latter is from the point of view of the author of the study Dave Jones is not a solution for the climate. "The switch from coal to Gas merely means the replacement of a fossil fuel against another," he said. "The cheapest and fastest way to end the coal production, the rapid Expansion of Wind and solar energy.

A mixed picture existed in Asia: In India the coal-fired power generation fell by 3 percent, in South Korea they declined by 5 percent. In China, they increased by 2 percent; the country is for the first time for more than half of the use of Coal. Renewable energy in China significantly stronger than coal, but not strong enough to satisfy the growing demand for electricity alone. (mkr)

His government has agreed in the Paris climate agreement to reduce by 2030 the carbon dioxide emissions by 26 percent compared to 2013. Also at the summer Olympic games this summer in Tokyo, Japan presents itself as a pioneer in climate protection. The "Olympic low emissions" is the electricity from renewable sources. Hydrogen fuel-cell buses to transport the athletes. "But the five giant coal-fired power plants, the go this year alone, in operation, emit a lot more carbon dioxide than when the Games is saved", writes Kimiko Hirata of Kiko Network, the Japanese offshoot of the climate activists from Climate Action Network.

Sticking to coal as an energy carrier, according to the Japanese government as a consequence of the Fukushima disaster. After March 2011, all nuclear power plants for safety reasons, sequentially switched off and stationary thermal power plants ramped up. The share of fossil fuels in electricity generation rose by almost half, to 90 percent.

What is masking the government: The share of Coal in the electricity mix already before the Fukushima accident 25 to 28 percent and remained after the nuclear disaster relatively constant. In the previous year it was 33 percent. It should change in the new decade to come: by 2030, Japan aims to still have a coal share of 26 percent. The climate activist and former US Vice President Al Gore called the target in October, a "total policy failure".

The official argument in favor of the coal has not changed since one and a half decades also. For one, Japan is in need of coal as a secure energy source, to be less Oil and Gas from the Middle East. On the other, the reading of it, replaced the new power plants inefficient old plants, and saved this much carbon dioxide. The two flagship plants of the Nakoso and Hirono, for example, transform it with your so-called integrated coal gasification (Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle, IGCC) the coal prior to combustion in a Gas and to get 46 to 48 percent of the energy, up to 10 percentage points more than German coal plants. As a result, the amount of CO2 released is reduced compared to conventional systems by up to 15 percent.

by 2030, is intended to work, half of all Japanese coal-fired power plants of similar effectiveness, so that Japan can reach the Paris climate goal anyway. This Consideration, Satoshi Onoda, President of Jera, operator of half of all fossil power plants in Japan, with a play on words to the point: "We make a difference between a carbon and a carbon-carbon society."

But it was also different: in November 2018, the protector of the climate of Kiko Network, provided a Plan to Japan within twelve years from the coal could stop. The focus of the Energieversorgunug to hike on cleaner liquefied petroleum gas as well as Solar and wind power. But the government shows in the case of Renewable little enthusiasm. Their share in the electricity mix is expected to increase by 16 percent by 2030, only 22 to 24 percent. "Because of the high land prices of electricity in Japan is solar in production twice as expensive as in Germany," explains the energy expert, Masa Sugiyama of the University of Tokyo.

However, Japan's environmentalists were able to achieve success: 50 projects for new coal plants have been abandoned in the past three years 13. Against each of the two power plants in Kobe and Yokosuka, which are still under construction, citizens groups filed a lawsuit. In addition, the three largest life want to exhibit the insurer for coal-fired power plants are no policies.

Date Of Update: 09 March 2020, 15:00

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