Japan’s power sector gets gas boost as coal fades

  • : Coal, Electricity, Natural gas
  • 24/04/03

Japan's power sector is accelerating the phasing out of inefficient coal-fired plants to help reduce the country's greenhouse gas emissions. But LNG-based gas-fired generation capacity is forecast to increase, at least over the next decade.

Availability of coal-fired capacity will fall to 49.95GW in the April 2033-March 2034 fiscal year, down by 4pc, or 2.26GW, from 2023-24, according to an annual survey by nationwide transmission system operator the Organisation for Cross-regional Co-ordination of Transmission Operators. The latest outlook is more aggressive compared with the previous year's survey that showed the addition of coal-fired capacity by 290MW to 50.94GW during the 10 years to 2032-33.

No more new coal-fired power units are scheduled to be installed by 2033-34, after the 650MW Yokosuka No.1 and No.2 and the 500MW Saijo No.1 units began commercial operations in 2023. This suggests Japan's coal demand for power generation will fall further from the 102mn t consumed in 2023, based on government data.

But gas-fired capacity in 2033-34 is predicted to increase by 5pc, or 4.12GW, from 2023-24 to 83.54GW. The power sector is planning to start up 13 new gas-fired units with a combined capacity of 6.414GW during the period, while scrapping 2.295GW. Japanese power producers used 37.17mn t of LNG in 2023.

The addition of gas-fired capacity will help increase Japan's overall thermal power capacity to 149.46GW in 2033-34, up by 660MW from 2023-24, offsetting falls in coal- and oil-fired capacity. Oil-fired capacity is expected to drop by 1.19GW to 15.98GW during the period.

But thermal capacity in 2033-34 could be well below Japan's renewable power generation capacity, which is predicted to increase to 178.03GW by then, up by 29pc or 40.5GW from 2023-24. Renewables include hydroelectric, wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, waste and storage battery power sources. The power sector is boosting renewables capacity, especially solar and wind, up by 25.9GW to 100.55GW and by 12.36GW to 17.98GW respectively over the next decade.

Japan's overall power generation capacity is predicted to be 361.16GW in 2033-34, assuming 33.08GW of nuclear capacity will be available. This could meet expected peak demand of 161GW in the same year, up by 3GW from 2024-25. The firm power demand will be supported by Tokyo's digital push, although a falling population and further energy saving efforts will erode electricity consumption.


Related news posts

Argus illuminates the markets by putting a lens on the areas that matter most to you. The market news and commentary we publish reveals vital insights that enable you to make stronger, well-informed decisions. Explore a selection of news stories related to this one.

24/04/17

Sheinbaum pledges $13bn for Mexican energy transition

Sheinbaum pledges $13bn for Mexican energy transition

Mexico City, 17 April (Argus) — Mexican presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum pledged to invest $13.6bn in electricity infrastructure through 2030, with a key focus on Mexico's energy transition. "We are going to accelerate the energy transition with new solar, wind and hydropower projects," Sheinbaum told a meeting of business associations in Merida, Yucatan, on 15 April. Former Mexico City mayor Sheinbaum is ahead of opposition candidate Xochitl Galvez for the 2 June presidential election, according to recent polls. While Sheinbaum is the continuity candidate for President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's Morena party, she has been a vocal supporter of clean energy development in contrast to Lopez Obrador's pursuit of conventional power projects and a restriction on private sector renewable energy development. "We are developing a national energy plan not just to 2030 but towards 2050 to coincide with our international climate change commitments," Sheinbaum said. Mexico committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35pc by 2030 from a 2000 baseline at the Cop 27 climate talks in 2022. Key projects through 2030 include 13.66GW of new power capacity across three hydropower plants, the third and fourth phases of the 1GW Puerto Penasco solar plant, two gas-fired combined cycle plants, cogeneration plants for the Cadereyta and Salina Cruz refineries, and additional wind and solar capacity. In addition to large scale electricity projects, Sheinbaum also committed to a build out of distributed generation, calling for the installation of solar panels in residential and commercial property. But while Sheinbaum pledged her "commitment to reaping the benefits of the historic moment Mexico is seeing in terms of foreign direct investment," she also recommitted to cap private sector electricity participation at 47pc. Foreign direct investment into Mexico hit $36.1bn in the fourth quarter of last year, 22pc above the same period in 2022, but investment into the energy sector has tanked under Lopez Obrador's statist energy policies, according to the latest statistics from the economy ministry. Lopez Obrador's government has largely focused on fossil fuel-based electricity generation, including the construction of new gas-fired combined cycle plants. But despite a commitment to build at least five combined cycle plants during his administration, Sheinbaum confirmed that only the Merida plant is due to launch by the end of this year. Launch dates for the Valladolid, San Luis Colorado, Gonzalez Ortega and Tuxpan plants have been pushed back to 2025-2030. By Rebecca Conan Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Malaysia sets up cross-border renewable energy exchange


24/04/17
24/04/17

Malaysia sets up cross-border renewable energy exchange

Singapore, 17 April (Argus) — The Malaysian government is creating the Energy Exchange Malaysia (Enegem) to allow for cross-border "green electricity" sales to neighbouring countries, starting with pilot sales to Singapore. The auctioning process for cross-border sales of clean electricity will begin with a 100MW pilot run utilising the existing connection between peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, announced Malaysia's Ministry of Energy Transition and Water Transformation on 15 April. The auction will be open to renewable energy bidders in Singapore that have import licences issued by Singapore's Energy Market Authority. This pilot phase of 100MW is to "make sure that it works, and then if it does work, hopefully it can be expanded to a gigawatt level," said the chairman of the Energy Commission Malaysia Rashdan Yusof at the Atozero conference in Singapore on 17 April. "On the demand side, there will also be an auction for suppliers of renewable energy into the exchange," said Rashdan, adding that the exchange will aggregate all the renewable energy sector participants, predominantly in the solar sector, and then provide the energy to Singapore, depending on requirements such as load factors, among other things. Malaysia aims to catalyse the development of the Asean regional electricity grid and cross-border energy trading. There are "tremendous discussions" on future interconnections, said Rashdan. Malaysian state-owned utility TNB has signed six agreements with utility counterparts in Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, and has two feasibility studies planned with utilities in Indonesia and Singapore, he said, without providing additional details on these deals. There is great willingness to establish this regional power grid but one of the obstacles is that "each jurisdiction has different energy pricing systems," said Rashdan. There is a significant difference in energy pricing between Singapore and Malaysia, for example, as energy is largely subsidised in Malaysia. "These subsidies, I find, will be a core impediment in terms of the free flow of electrons," he added. "The energy exchange can level the economic and commercial playing field, so that money can flow. Once the money can flow, the electrons will flow. That's the aim of the energy exchange, to have that transparency and market-based system, without the distortion of price subsidies." There are a number of bilateral power agreements in the region, with some even crossing multiple borders, such as the Laos-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project, which connects renewable power supplies from Laos to Singapore. But Asean countries need to scale up to multilateral power trading to fully benefit from regional grid interconnectivity. Regional grid optimisation in Asean could cut the net present cost of full decarbonisation by 11pc from $7.2 trillion to $6.5 trillion, according to international classification society DNV's Asia-Pacific regional director for energy systems Brice Le Gallo last year. By Prethika Nair Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

BHP to expand gas-fired West Australia power station


24/04/17
24/04/17

BHP to expand gas-fired West Australia power station

Sydney, 17 April (Argus) — Australian resources firm BHP plans to increase power generation at its 154MW Yarnima gas and diesel-fired facility near the Pilbara iron ore mining hub of Newman in Western Australia (WA) state. The proposal, according to documents filed with WA's Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), will see output increase by 85MW to a total of 239MW through gas reciprocating engines and associated infrastructure with up to 120MW of nominal new capacity to be built in stages. Peak scope 1 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the project are predicted to be 480,030 t/yr of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), while scope 3 emissions related to supplying the gas are expected to be 37,260t CO2e/yr. Power demand at BHP's iron ore operations in the Pilbara is forecast to increase from 150MW currently to 1GW by 2040, as the company reduces its GHG emissions through electrification of its rail and mining fleets and must balance renewables with firmed generation. The iron ore mining sector is a large-scale producer of Australian GHG emissions through its Pilbara-based operations. Displacing liquid fuels such as diesel, which Australia consumes at an average rate of around 500,000 b/d by electrifying processes and switching to lower CO2-emitting sources such as gas, is expected to trend as Australia's largest polluters meet government mandates . Yarmina currently runs a 35MW diesel-fired temporary power station as part of its installed capacity. Canadian energy firm TransAlta earlier this year lodged plans to build a new 150MW gas-fired power station for BHP's Nickel West operations in WA's Northern Goldfields region. WA's domestic market is likely to be short on gas later this decade despite being Australia's largest LNG export state, the Australian Energy Market Operator (Aemo) has warned in its Western Australia Gas Statement of Opportunities. Aemo's modelling released last year shows the closure of WA's state-owned coal-fired power stations will drive increased requirements for gas-fired electricity generation in the next decade. By Tom Major Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

AES closes 276MW coal-fired power in Chile


24/04/16
24/04/16

AES closes 276MW coal-fired power in Chile

Santiago, 16 April (Argus) — US utility AES has disconnected its two Norgener coal-fired plants from Chile's national grid, removing 276MW of combined capacity almost two years earlier than scheduled. The plants in northern Chile's Antofagasta region were originally due to close on 31 December 2025. AES has 3.4GW of generation assets in Chile of which now more than half are renewable, it said. The early closure of Norgener 1 and 2, which began operations in 1995 and 1997, respectively, is part of the country's commitment to close all coal-fired plants by 2040. To date, it has closed 11 coal-fired plants with combined capacity of nearly 1.7GW, or 30pc of the 5.5GW in operation in 2019 when the phase-out plan was announced. A further four plants with a combined capacity of 873MW are scheduled to close in 2025, according to the energy ministry. A public-private decarbonization working group is developing a roadmap through 2030 to speed up the closure of Chile's remaining coal plants. By Emily Russell Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Shale discipline even at $200/bl: Ex-Pioneer CEO


24/04/16
24/04/16

Shale discipline even at $200/bl: Ex-Pioneer CEO

New York, 16 April (Argus) — Public independent shale oil producers will remain disciplined and keep production steady even if crude prices soar on geopolitical tensions, according to the former chief executive officer of Pioneer Natural Resources. "Even if oil gets to $200/bl, the independent producers are going to be disciplined," Scott Sheffield said today at the Columbia Global Energy Summit in New York. Public independents showed restraint when oil prices jumped in the immediate aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, as they focused on improving shareholder returns rather than ramping up production to take advantage of short-term prices, he said. One benefit of the recent wave of consolidation is that it may kickstart some growth in a sector that has showered shareholders with excess cash via dividends and share buybacks in recent years. Before Pioneer agreed to be bought for $59.5bn by ExxonMobil late last year, the company was only increasing output at around 5pc a year. Once the acquisition closes, the top US oil major is going to grow Pioneer's assets at 10-15pc a year, said Sheffield. "That's an example where somebody is stepping up and adding production," he added. Global crude prices have moved very little since the weekend when Israel and allies thwarted a massive missile and drone attack from Iran. WTI today fell by just 5¢/bl to $85.36/bl while June Ice Brent fell by 8¢/bl to $90.02/bl. The industry veteran stepped down as chief executive at the end of last year but remains on the board of Pioneer. By Stephen Cunningham Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Business intelligence reports

Get concise, trustworthy and unbiased analysis of the latest trends and developments in oil and energy markets. These reports are specially created for decision makers who don’t have time to track markets day-by-day, minute-by-minute.

Learn more