New nuke power in Japan, India

Some updates on nuke power in Asia here, reposting these two reports.
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nuclear-reactor-japan-afp_650x400_71495021691(1) Japan Restarts Another Nuclear Reactor After Fukushima Crisis
NDTV, Agence France-Presse | Updated: May 17, 2017

TOKYO, JAPAN:  A Japanese utility on Wednesday switched on a nuclear reactor, the latest to come back in service despite deep public opposition in the aftermath of the Fukushima crisis.

Japan shut down all of its dozens of reactors after a powerful earthquake in March 2011 spawned a huge tsunami that led to meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant, causing the world’s worst such accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

But only a handful of reactors have come back online due to public opposition and as legal cases work their way through the courts.

On Wednesday, Kansai Electric Power (KEPCO) restarted the No 4 reactor at the Takahama nuclear plant after a court in March cleared the move.

The latest restart at the plant in Fukui prefecture, some 350 kilometres (215 miles) west of Tokyo, came after court battles that lasted more than a year during which a district court near Fukui ordered KEPCO to suspend operations.

(2) India will build 10 new reactors in huge boost to nuclear power
BBC, 18 May 2017

India currently operates 22 nuclear plants, with a capacity of 6,780 megawatts.

India will build 10 heavy water reactors to boost its nuclear power capacity, the government has announced.

India is one of the world’s largest consumers of electricity, and the bulk of it is generated from coal.

The new reactors amount to more than the country’s present installed capacity of nuclear power. But it is not clear when they will begin working.

India currently operates 22 nuclear plants, with a capacity of 6,780 megawatts.

“A total of 7,000 megawatts will be added. It will help produce clean energy,” Power Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters.

The planned nuclear units will generate business worth $11bn (£8.48bn) and create more than 33,000 jobs, the government said.

The homegrown reactors will be built under the ambitious “Make in India” initiative, with the government saying it will boost India’s nuclear manufacturing capability.

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Developing Asia’s love affair with coal

Energy precedes development, not vice versa. Developing countries cannot sustain growth without cheap and stable energy supply.

I am reposting some recent reports about efforts by many developing Asian countries to grow fast via cheaper energy from coal power. Enjoy.
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“Pakistan’s Water and Power Ministry… investment project with China, it’s committed to spending $15 billion on as many as 12 new coal power plants over the next 15 years…

To anyone who would criticize the move, Piyush Goyal, India’s power minister, had this to say: “India is not a polluter,” he told the Financial Times. “It’s America and the western world that has to first stop polluting.” There’s a grain of truth to that: America and Europe did a lot of coal burning during their development, and now have strong economies to leverage in order to clean up their acts.” – May 3, 2017, https://www.technologyreview.com/s/604323/india-and-pakistans-continued-love-affair-with-coal/

“$54 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which includes spending of about $33 billion on a total of 19 energy projects, including coal-fired and renewable power plants, transmission lines, and other infrastructure.

Combined, the projects will eventually generate 16,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity, which the government says is urgently needed. About three-quarters of the newly generated power will come from coal-powered plants, and the government insists that these will be fitted with the latest technology to reduce pollution and climate-changing emissions.” – May 2, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-pakistan-energy-coal-idUSKBN17Z019

“China’s production of electricity from coal stayed at elevated levels post the northern hemisphere winter after reaching a high of 423.6 billion kWh in December – and the highest level recorded based on available data going back to January 2010.

And electricity production from coal in March 2017 rebounded strongly following the Lunar New Year lull in February, rising 7.7% year on year to 396.1 billion kWh, according to the National Bureau of Statistics data.” – May 2, 2017, http://blogs.platts.com/2017/05/02/china-coal-fired-power-generation-surprises-naysayers/

“India is heavily reliant on coal for its electricity, more than three-quarters of which was generated by its 132 coal-fired power stations in 2014-15, according to the most recent data from the central electricity authority. However, while it is the world’s third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in absolute terms, its per capita emissions are a fraction of many other nations’, at just 1.59 metric tonnes a year, compared with 7.55 for China and 16.39 for the US.” – May 3, 2017, https://www.ft.com/content/18268438-2e3e-11e7-9555-23ef563ecf9a

“A MoneySuperMarket report listed Mozambique, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe as having “the most environmentally friendly people in the world,” while ranking Americans as being some of the least eco-friendly people on the planet. That may not be a bad thing, though, given the greenest countries also tend to be poor and run by authoritarian regimes.” – April 22, 2017, http://dailycaller.com/2017/04/22/worlds-greenest-people-live-in-ridiculously-poor-authoritarian-regimes-graph/

coal1
“America was built on cheap and abundant coal. Fossil fuels powered the U.S. into the industrial age and replaced inefficient windmills and woodburning as the primary sources of electricity. America currently has access to 500 years’ worth of coal — far more than any other nation. Even despite the last decade’s war on coal during the Obama years, the U.S. still derives about one third of our power from coal — second only to natural gas.” – April 17, 2017, https://spectator.org/coals-colossal-comeback/

“China’s fundamental demand for coal and natural gas has improved alongside better-than-expected economic growth in the first quarter,” Tian Miao, an analyst at North Square Blue Oak Ltd. in Beijing, said by phone. “The government’s investment in infrastructure has boosted power consumption while the move to replace coal with gas to fight pollution is also gaining some traction for gas demand.” – April 17, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-17/china-coal-production-rises-as-government-avoids-output-limits

“Coal conversion has become profitable in China because of an unusual combination of low coal prices relative to state-set gas or petrol prices.  Coal-to-liquids projects normally make economic sense only when oil prices are high or supply is limited. The technology was first developed in Nazi Germany, and commercialised in apartheid-era South Africa.” https://www.ft.com/content/02931290-1d94-11e7-a454-ab04428977f9

“despite a huge workforce of almost 400,000 solar workers (about 20 percent of electric power payrolls in 2016), that sector produced an insignificant share, less than 1 percent, of the electric power generated in the United States last year (EIA data here).

coal3In contrast, it took about the same number of natural gas workers (398,235) last year to produce more than one-third of U.S. electric power, or 37 times more electricity than solar’s minuscule share of 0.90 percent. And with only 160,000 coal workers (less than half the number of workers in either solar or gas), that sector produced nearly one-third (almost as much as gas) of U.S. electricity last year.” – May 3, 2017, http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/todays-most-productive-energy-workers-are-in-coal-and-gas-not-solar/article/2622029

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“According to a recent International Energy Agency (IEA) report, Japan’s 600 MW Isogo plant in Yokohama is probably the best in the world. It is an ultra-supercritical HELE plant, with emission levels comparable to a natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plant.” — April 18, 2017, https://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/japan-and-china-remarkably-clean-coal/

“The Petra Nova carbon capture system was installed in the W.A. Parish generation station. This is the largest and cleanest fossil fuel generaton station in the United States.” — April 18, 2017, https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/04/18/clean-coal-carbon-capture-and-enhanced-oil-recovery/

India’s “plans to build nearly 370 coal-fired power plants… The construction of 65 gigawatts worth of coal-burning generation with an additional 178 gigawatts in the planning stages would make it nearly impossible for India to meet those climate promises, the researchers say.” — April 25, 2017, https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/04/25/india-wont-be-able-to-meet-paris-climate-agreement-commitments-due-to-expanding-coal-power-plants/

coal4
Two other useful sources here,

  1. http://www.jcoal.or.jp/eng/
  2. GWPF, “THE PARIS AGREEMENT and the Fifth Carbon Budget” by David Campbell, http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2016/09/Campbell.pdf  (13 pages long)

Bottomline: more environmentalism, more UN, more government renewables cronyism are bad for developing economies that want cheaper energy for them to develop faster and sustain growth.

Asia retains big coal use

There are many reports now saying that “Asia moving away from coal” or “Asia embracing more renewables, ditching coal” and similar stories. These claims are half-truths and hence, generally not correct. See these reports and stats below.

http://thediplomat.com/2017/02/why-is-asia-returning-to-coal/
Why Is Asia Returning to Coal?
The fossil fuel is undergoing an unexpected renaissance in the region.
By Grace Guo
February 17, 2017

“For Japan, coal has emerged as the best alternative to replacing its 54 nuclear reactors, which are deeply unpopular with the population and seen as symbols of devastation after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster six years ago…

But why did Abe go with coal and not renewables or, say, natural gas? After Fukushima, Japan initially ramped up its imports of liquefied natural gas, but realized that LNG would be prohibitively expensive in the long-term…. Coal power already made up 31 percent of Japan’s energy mix in 2015 but under the current plan, the fossil fuel will become the country’s primary power source by 2019.”

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Coal/US-Coal-Miners-Find-A-New-Buyer-In-Asia.html
U.S. Coal Miners Find A New Buyer In Asia 
By Dave Forest – Mar 23, 2017, 10:41 AM CDT

An Important shift is now underway in global coal trade. With a completely new export route opening up for U.S. producers over the last few weeks.

To South Korea.

Platts reported yesterday that coal buyers in Korea have seen a surge of bookings for U.S. thermal coal. With sources telling the news service that 1.5 million tonnes of total U.S. supply have now been arranged for delivery between July and September.

https://www.bloomberg.com/…/coal-addiction-spreads-as

“Pakistan has begun to dig up one of the world’s largest deposits of low-grade, brown, dirty coal to fuel new power stations that could revolutionize the country’s economy.

The project is one of the most expensive among an array of ambitious energy developments that China is helping the country to build as part of a $55 billion economic partnership. A $3.5 billion joint venture between the neighbors will extract coal to generate 1.3 gigawatts of electricity that will be sent across the country on a new $3 billion transmission network.”

ch coal

In China, there were many reports of “China’s coal consumption has fallen for 3 years straight.” That is true, but not mentioned on those reports is the fact that China’s coal consumption is already at a very high level, almost 2 billion million tonnes oil equivalent (MTOE)/year from 2013-2016. Data below from 1966-2015. Basic data taken from BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy (annual report).

ch coal (1)Source: https://ycharts.com/indicators/china_coal_consumption

India keeps ramping up its coal consumption. Data from 1965-2014.

in coalSource: https://ycharts.com/indicators/india_coal_consumption

Asia needs cheap electricity and stable energy sources. Governments should respect this consumer demand and aspiration — industrial, commercial, residential consumers. It’s good that many Asian governments and private sector players realize this. The endless lobbying to “kill coal to save the planet” will never prosper. Asia’s many developed and emerging economies cannot afford frequent blackouts and expensive energy that can make their manufacturing and service sectors become less competitive, less reliable.