Quoting the Yomiuri daily newspaper, Reuters reports that Japan is planning to suspend or close as many as 100 ageing and inefficient coal-fired power plants by about 2030.
This is significant because closures on that scale would mark a major shift in the Japanese government’s strong support for coal in the world’s third-biggest economy. Japan is the only Group of Seven nation to be rolling out plans for new coal power stations, a major contributor to carbon and other emissions that stoke global warming.
Without citing sources, the Yomiuri said industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama will soon announce that about 100 power plants built before the mid-1990s and deemed inefficient by the government will be closed or mothballed. This equates to almost 90% of the fleet.
This follows reports in December 2019 that eight years after the Fukushima nuclear power station disaster, Japan’s nuclear power industry is rebounding. Its government has given initial approval for the Onagawa reactor to restart. The country plans to generate 20% of its energy from its reactors by 2030.
As more and more industrialised countries move away from coal as a primary energy source, its surely only a matter of time before we see a massive downturn in the world’s coal-mining industries, especially in those countries – like South Africa and Australia – which rely on coal exports for foreign currency.