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Japan may close 100 old coal units by 2030 to hit emissions goal
REEI 2020/07/02

Japan may shut about 100 inefficient coal-fired power units by 2030 to reach its emissions reduction target under the Paris agreement.

The powerful Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will soon start expert panel discussions on details of the closure plan, according to an official with the ministry. The shut downs are necessary to meet targets already laid out in the country’s 2018 basic energy plan, and won’t include 26 higher-efficiency units or stop construction of 15 new coal-power stations, said the official.

The plan isn’t a departure from the country’s heavy reliance on coal-fired power, which is still expected to account for 26% of the country’s power generation by 2030, down from 32% in the year ended March 2019. Japan committed to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions 26% by 2030 from 2013 levels, under the Paris climate pact.

The country has come under increasing scrutiny for domestic and overseas policies that support coal-fired generation as investors and governments step up efforts to combat climate change. A separate METI panel Wednesday said a review of Japan’s long-term targets should start next year with a focus on decarbonization.

There are 140 coal-fired power units across Japan, of which 114 use supercritical or less efficient technology, according to METI. Some of the older generation in Okinawa and Hokkaido prefectures may be exempted from closures, given their roles in local power supplies, the ministry official said.

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