Immediate Action Must be Brought to New and Existing Japanese Coal-Fired Power Plants
Coal-fired power plants emit large amounts of CO2
One new plant emits over 100 million tonnes
April 9th 2015
1. 127 Mt of additional CO2 emissions from new coal-fired power plants
Following the Great East Japan Earthquake and Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, new plans for coal-fired power plants have been put forth one after another since 2012. In light of new information reported today, there are plans for 43 new power plants, totaling 21.2GW. If all these power plants are to be built, this will amount to approximately 127 Mt–CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere. This amount is equivalent to 10% of Japan’s emissions for 1990 (1.26 billion tonnes).
To reach the government’s goal of 80% emissions reduction by 2050, greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced by approximately 252 Mt-CO2 (compared with 1990 levels). Emissions from these new power plants, which are likely to operate until 2050, account for half of this target. Coal-fired power plant construction plans like these moves Japan away from effective climate change mitigation. These plans must be reviewed and aborted as soon as possible.
2. The great amount of CO2, in addition to SOx, NOx, emitted from existing coal-fired power plants
Today, we are announcing the release of our report “Data Analysis of Coal-Fired Power Plants”. This report is based on published information from utilities as well as supplemental data. For the 68 units operating in 2005, the following facts on emissions per unit were uncovered:
- CO2 emissions per unit (gross power generation) ranged from 932g/kWh to 759g/kWh. Emissions from the “Worst 10” accounts for the emissions of 30% of all 68 units.
- Units that went into operation after 1991 had higher facility utilization rates and power generation.
- Even highly efficient units (thermal efficiency of approximately 42%) emitted high amounts of CO2. Units in the 1000MW class emit approximately 6 Mt/CO2 per year.
- All units emit SOx and NOx, although usually emitted in small amounts. However, some units emit high amounts of SOx and NOx due to lack of measures.
Based on the above findings, the report touches on the necessity of measures for the existing coal-fired power generation, monitoring and disclosure of emissions data for each unit and the re-investigation of the health impacts from air pollutants from the power plants.
(The full report, “Data Analysis of Coal-Fired Power Plants”, can be found here (in Japanese only))
Press release (PDF)
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