On 17 July 2015, the Japanese government unveiled its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 26% below FY 2013 levels by FY 2030 (25.4% reduction below FY 2005 levels). The government also approved the outlook for long-term energy supply and demand, which stipulates that in 2030 the share of nuclear power will be 20% to 22%, renewables will be 22% to 24%, and coal-fired power generation will be 26%.
At the same time, there is a large number of coal-fired power plant constructions currently being planned, the total capacity of which amounts up to 18GW. Unrestricted construction of coal-fired power plants may put Japan’s long-term transition to a low-carbon economy at risk.
This paper analyses the potential impacts of recent construction or retrofit plans of coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of 18 GW (referred to as “the new coal-fired power plants” below) on Japan’s mid-term and long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation targets. This paper also examines the economic impact on coal-fired power plants when effective carbon price is implemented in the entire power sector.