June 17 Japan is set to release a long-term plan
aimed at making thermal power generation cleaner and more
efficient to help the world's fifth-biggest emitter of
greenhouse gases meet a pledge to cut emissions under a global
Coal use has surged since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in
2011 led to the shutdown of most reactors. Japan has also been
trying to boost exports of its thermal power technology,
sparking criticism from environmental groups and some other
Japan aims to use carbon capture and storage (CCS) and
carbon and utilization (CCU) to help reduce emissions, although
experts question how quickly and cost effectively the technology
can be employed.
Here are some plans from a panel of experts and expected to
be included in a so-called road map this month from the Ministry
of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Japan aims to develop more efficient coal and other fossil
fuel burning technologies for power stations. This can be
achieved by various techniques under development or seen as
having good potential, including burning at higher temperatures,
under pressure, steam reuse, air and other gas injection.
The most-advanced coal fired power stations have an
efficiency rate of about 40 percent. A higher number indicates
more energy produced with lower emissions.
Japan is also combining research and development for
coal-fired and gas-fired thermal power technologies this year
and encouraging more industry cooperation, along with foreign
The following gives efficiency targets for various methods
of burning coal, gas and hydrogen.
* To develop Advanced Ultra-Super Critical technology using
higher temperatures and pressures to improve efficiency in coal
stations with a of 46 percent by March, 2017.
* To develop Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle
technology that gasifies coal with an efficiency rate of 46-50
percent by around March, 2019.
* To develop Integrated Gasification Fuel-cell Combined
Cycle units with an efficiency rate of 55 percent by around
* To develop Advanced Humid Air Turbine technology for
gas-fired power plants with an efficiency rate of 51 percent by
* To develop Gas Turbine Combined Cycle technology for
gas-fired power plants with an efficiency rate of 57 percent by
around March, 2021.
* To develop Gas Turbine Fuel Cell Combined Cycle technology
for gas-fired power plants with an efficiency rate of 63 percent
by around March, 2026.
* To develop cost-efficient technologies for carbon dioxide
capture and storage along with carbon dioxide capture and
utilization sometime after 2025.
* To develop hydrogen power generation technology by around
(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Aaron Sheldrick and Ed