July 6, 2020 Read More →

Japan reportedly to close as many as 100 coal plants within 10 years

E&E News:

Japan will reportedly close as many as 100 inefficient coal plants by 2030, a potentially significant shift in the climate landscape of the world’s third-largest economy.

The development, reported by the Yomiuri Shimbun, a Japanese daily newspaper, comes amid a coal boom in Japan. The country turned to the fuel after the government shuttered Japan’s nuclear power plants in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in 2011.

Japan’s new taste for coal makes it an outlier among rich nations. It is the only Group of Seven country with plans for new coal plants, though Germany brought a coal plant online earlier this year.

Mining companies in the western U.S. have long looked at Japan as a potential buyer of American coal. Efforts to export coal from ports along the West Coast have floundered in recent years. A shutdown would only make that job harder, said Clark Williams-Derry, an analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, which supports a transition to clean energy.

“It’s just one more blow to an already over stressed market and one more nail in the coffin of the U.S. coal export dream,” he said. 

[Benjamin Storrow]

More: Japan, amid coal boom, signals plans to close 100 plants

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