POWER UTILITY | Staff Reporter, Japan

Gas-fired power generation to eat up over 41% of Japan's mix by 2026

It eyes building as many as 43 plants over the next 12 years.

The impact of the return of the Takahama 3 & 4 reactors will be negligible when considered in relation to the broader power mix - as BMI Research only expects nuclear power generation to comprise 5.4% of the total power mix in 2026. 

In comparison, the Japanese government aims for nuclear to make up 20-22% of power generation in 2030. The result will be that thermal power generation will remain crucial to Japanese energy security over the coming decade.

"We believe gas-fired power generation will remain the largest power generation source in Japan by some margin over our 10-year forecast period leading up to 2026 - making up more than 41% of total power generation," BMI Research said.

This is despite efforts from the government to promote cheaper coal-fired power generation - with the government announcing in April 2016 that it aimed to build as many as 43 new coal-fired power plants over a 12-year period.

"Our muted view for coal-fired power, which we only expect will expand by an annual average of 0.7% between 2017 and 2026, is in large part attributed to an increasingly challenging coal investment environment in the country. We deem the potential for project cancellations on environmental grounds to be substantial - in line with broader international efforts to curb growth and grass-root opposition. For example, it was announced that KEPCO's Ako coal-fired power plant was cancelled in January 2017," BMI Research said.

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