Japan wants to close many coal-fired power plants

Large quantities of older, more polluting, coal-fired power plants may be closed in Japan.

Finance Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama says he has commissioned officials to come up with concrete proposals on how “inefficient coal-fired power plants can be phased out and renewable energy made into a major source of energy”.

An alternative is to tighten regulations so that aging power plants are phased out by 2030, he adds.

The Minister of Economy does not want to go into how many power plants it may be necessary to close. But according to data in Japanese media, the government is looking at plans for 100 of 114 power plants built before the mid-1990s and which emit more carbon dioxide than newer variants.

Japan has a total of 140 coal-fired power stations, which account for almost one-third of the country’s total electricity generation. The country has set a target for 22-24 percent of energy needs to be covered by renewable energy sources in 2030, which critics believe is an overly modest increase from today’s around 17 percent.