Japan may be intending to bring in more coal power stations to counter rising energy prices. Japanese media reports this week suggest the Government wants to hurry along environmental assessments of new power plants.
The nation has struggled with power since the Fukushima nuclear crisis which prompted the closure of its 50 nuclear plants. Two are back up and running but they are only being re-opened on a one-by-one basis when approved by safety regulators.
Many reports have focused on the nation’s switch to renewable energy, with subsidies tempting more than $2billion worth of investment to pour into the country for green energy projects by the end of last year alone. Relatively quick and cheap coal is clearly beginning to appeal too.
Last month it was reported Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) was considering cutting the amount of oil it buys by more than a third and focusing more on coal plants to reduce the cost of energy. International coal prices are very cheap at the moment and dropped by around 30% over the last year.