Japan's switch to thermal power sends emissions up by 29%
Japan's 10 regional utilities emitted 409 million tons of carbon dioxide in fiscal 2011.
The figure represents a 29 percent from the previous year and breaking 400 million for the first time.
According to data recently compiled by the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan, the shutdown of all of the nation's nuclear reactors due to March 2011 nuclear disaster and the return to thermal power generation contributed to the emissions spike.
The federation has set a target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent from fiscal 1990 levels to 0.340 kg per kwh on average between fiscal 2008 and 2012. However, because the 10 power companies discharged an average of 0.387 kg in the three years through fiscal 2011, they will have to drastically reduce emissions in the final year to stand any chance of meeting this goal.
Realistically, this makes it "very difficult" for utilities to meet the target at a time when all their reactors remain offline for routine checks, with the exception of two reactivated units at the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture, the federation concluded.