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Coal as a major power source represents huge step backward

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Japan is facing mounting international criticism over its coal-fired thermal power generation goals while the rest of the world is striving to reduce its carbon footprint.

Japanese utilities have a raft of plans to build new coal-fired power plants despite the fact that coal generates far larger amounts of carbon dioxide

when burned than other fuels for power generation. These projects could throw a monkey wrench into the policy campaign to stem global warming.

The government should rethink its policy decision to position coal as a “mainstay power source” to stop unbridled expansion of the use of coal in thermal power generation.

Since the catastrophic accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in 2011, low-cost coal-burning thermal power generation has been greatly expanded in Japan to compensate for the loss of electricity generated with atomic energy.

Now, coal-fired power plants account for over 30 percent of all electricity produced in the nation. The expansion will likely continue with private-sector utilities planning to build 40 or so........

© The Asahi Shimbun