"A Japanese pledge to wind down gas and coal-fired electricity much faster than
previously planned has sparked warnings Australia needs to speed up a
transition away from fossil fuel exports.
A draft revised energy mix released by Japanese officials on Wednesday said the
country – Australia’s biggest market for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and
thermal coal – would cut gas-fired electricity generation nearly in half and
reduce coal power by more than a third by 2030.
The plan, devised to help the country ramp up emissions cuts by 2030, would
require renewable energy to provide up to 38% of generation. Coal, LNG and
nuclear energy would each provide about 20%.
While a shift away from coal has been widely forecast, the expected fall in
Japanese gas-fired electricity is at odds with claims by the Australian
government and the $36bn LNG export industry that its product would displace
coal and help reduce global emissions.
Llewelyn Hughes, an associate professor at the Australian National University’s
Crawford School of Public Policy, said the Japanese announcement was a “big
deal” for Australia and consistent with the country’s target of having 45GW of
offshore wind energy capacity – nearly equivalent to Australia’s current power
grid – by 2040."
*** Xanni ***
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