Chairman Kazuhiro Ikebe of the Federation of Electric Companies of Japan (also president and CEO of Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc.) sat down with the Sankei Shimbun on July 30. The federation comprises major electric power companies in Japan. In response to the recent government announcement about the phased reduction of inefficient coal-fired power plants that produce a lot of carbon dioxide (CO2), the chairman said, “We will continue operating high-efficiency coal-fired power plants and will proceed (with new construction, etc.) while each company gains understanding about the new construction.”
The government is considering specific measures to phase out inefficient coal-fired power plants by FY2030. As of the end of June, there were 150 coal-fired power plants in Japan, of which 120 plants are inefficient and subject to suspension and discontinuance. On the other hand, a total of 17 new efficient coal-fired plants are planned and 26 will be allowed to continue their operation.
The chairman said, “As a sustainable measure against global warming, we need to promote electrification (with progress in low carbonization)… At the same time, inexpensive coal can help keep down electricity costs, so we will continue using highly efficient coal-fired power plants with great care (so as to hew to the trend toward electrification with low carbonization).
Referring to renewable energy, the chairman said, “Offshore wind power generation has great potential” as the government is devising a strategy for its introduction.