Construction of 25 Coal-fired Power Plants (over 13 000MW) under Planning
Bypassing Climate Change Policies
~Urgent Task to Stop the Construction Fever~
October 23rd, 2014
In order to obtain a complete picture of the new coal-fired power plant projects under planning at an alarming rate since the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, Kiko Network has conducted research on construction plans. We have found that there are at least 25 plants with an overall capacity of 13640 MW under planning across Japan (*1). If all of them are put into use, they are estimated to emit 82 million tons of carbon dioxide annually （*2）. In addition, it is possible that such plans could further increase in number.
Among these 25 projects, some were planned prior to the Great East Japan Earthquake and are already under construction, and the earliest ones could be put into operation in 2016. However, most of the plans started after the earthquake, and in particular, eight of them are expected to be complete in 2020. What’s more, six projects (less than 112 MW) are not required to undergo environmental assessment under the Environmental Impact Assessment Law.
Ahead of the coming liberalization of retail electricity sales in 2016, there have recently been continuous announcements and reports of coal-fired power plant plans. However, even in the case of a coal-fired power plant with the most cutting-edge technology, its carbon dioxide emissions are twice as much as those of liquid natural gas (LNG), and its entire life cycle is estimated to be 40 years, during which huge amounts of CO2 would most certainly be produced, threatening the target of “reducing 80% of emissions by 2050” set by the Japanese government. It indicates the lack of awareness or policy from the Japanese government in its response to climate change.
The Japanese government is going to start discussing a mid-term target for greenhouse gases from October 24th. Coal-fired power plants work against mitigating climate change, and thus in backsliding. We believe that the government should work on ways to stop the current construction fever of coal projects which would impose a great challenge to its aims of radically bold reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
*1 The sources include the official releases of companies and information from media coverage.
*2 In a report published by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (The Future of Coal http://web.mit.edu/coal/), it is estimated that one coal-fired power plant with a 500 MW capacity produces three million tons of CO2 annually, and existing coal-fired power plants in Japan produce a similar amount of emissions.
Press release (PDF)
List of Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plants in Japan under Construction・Bidding・Retirement Plans (2014/10/17)
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