Coal to Replace Gas as Japan’s Leading Power Source From 2019

Coal is set to overtake gas within the next three years as the largest generator of power in Japan as power utilities replace aging nuclear capacity with the fossil fuel, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said.

Nuclear power, which accounted for about 29 percent of Japan’s total power output before the 2011 Fukushima disaster, will peak at 13.6 percent by 2023, BNEF said in a report released on Monday. By 2040, nuclear’s share will fall to just 1.2 percent.

Even with the greater reliance on coal, the country will likely meet its 2030 emission reduction target for the power sector due to a drop in power demand, according to the London-based researcher. The elimination of oil-fired generation, greater reliance on more efficient coal-power plants and an increase in clean energy will also contribute.

Japan will come very close to meeting its emission reduction target for the power sector, which is aiming for a 34 percent reduction by 2030 compared with 2013 levels, according to the BNEF forecast.

However, the government’s aim for zero-emission sources to account for 44 percent of electricity generation in 2030 is unlikely to be met without new policy initiatives, according to the report.

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