How should the nation secure a stable supply of electricity while giving consideration to the protection of the environment? Both the government and utility companies must seriously work on this issue. A panel of experts for the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry has begun discussions to review the nation’s basic energy plan, which serves as a set of guidelines for national energy policies. One focal point is measures to take advantage of coal-fired power generation as a baseload power source. Coal-fired thermal power enables stable fuel procurement and has low generation costs. But this energy source poses challenges for the environment. For example, it emits twice the amount of carbon dioxide as liquefied natural gas thermal power generation. The nation has about 150 coal-fired thermal power facilities. Coal accounts for about 32 percent of the nation’s total power output, exceeding a government-set target for fiscal 2030 by 6 percentage points. Furthermore, plans are under way to build more than 40 new coal-fired thermal power units. To meet a target set by the government for nuclear power to account for 20 percent to 22 percent of the energy mix for fiscal 2030, about 30 nuclear reactors need to be reactivated. Only five reactors are currently in operation. If nuclear power is to be used as a baseload power source, efforts should be increased to restart reactors.
Japan News 26th Aug 2017 read more »