Japan’s decision to open up its retail electricity market to new entrants is expected to lead to the construction of as many as 43 coal-burning power stations in the next 12 years, an expansion of almost 50% on its current number.
The Environment Ministry gave the green light to the construction of new coal-fired power plants in February, and at least 43 projects have already been announced.
Now Japan has a total of 90 coal-fired units with total capacity of 40.5GW. A list of the proposed plants, which will have a total capacity of 20.5GW, was compiled recently by Reuters, and can be seen here.
Coal is relatively cheap compared to other ways of generating electricity and in the newly liberalised world of Japanese power, cost is set to be a key consideration for suppliers.
Japan must also add generating capacity to replace nuclear power stations closed in the wake of the 2011 tsunami. Before that catastrophe, nuclear supplied a third of the market.
The need is urgent because, despite Japan’s sluggish economy and declining population, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has said it is planning for a scenario where demand rises by 22% to 1,177 billion kWh by 2030.
H/t reader kevin a.
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