Japanese Inexperienced Power Targets Threaten Australia’s Gasoline Exports – So?

Guest contribution by Eric Worrall

Japanese offshore wind and hydrogen will replace Australian natural gas exports faster than the Australian government expects, according to The Guardian. But if there is such a market for green energy, why does government intervention need to take advantage of this “opportunity”?

Australia’s reliance on gas exports is being challenged as Japan shuts down fossil fuel energy

The government urged to accelerate the green energy transition as Australia’s largest market shifts from LNG and coal

Adam Morton Climate and Environment Editor
@adamlmorton Fri 23 Jul 2021 03.30 AEST

A Japanese promise to phase out gas and coal-fired power plants much faster than planned has sparked warnings that Australia must accelerate the transition from the export of fossil fuels.

A draft of a revised energy mix released Wednesday by Japanese officials said the country – Australia’s largest market for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and steam coal – would cut gas-fired power generation nearly in half and reduce coal power by more than a third by 2030.

The plan, which aims to help the country accelerate emissions reductions by 2030, calls for renewables to cover up to 38% of generation. Coal, LNG and nuclear power would each provide around 20%.

While a move away from coal has been widely forecast, the expected decline in Japanese gas flows contradicts claims by the Australian government and the $ 36 billion LNG export industry that their product would displace coal and help reduce global emissions.

Llewelyn Hughes, associate professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy at Australian National University, said the Japanese announcement was a “big deal” for Australia and was in line with the country’s goal of 45 GW of offshore wind capacity – what grid is close to Australia’s current performance – by 2040

He said some thought it would be a challenge for Japan to meet its revised targets, but the commitment shows the country is on track to use less fossil fuels. “This indicates a long-term decline in coal and gas,” said Hughes.

Rebecca Mikula-Wright, executive director of the Investor Group on Climate Change, said the energy mix draft was “a clear signal of the country’s intention to accelerate its decarbonization”. Australia’s other big customers in Asia – China and South Korea – are also heading for net-zero emissions and would reduce demand over the next decade, she said.

“To remain competitive in global export markets, Australia must quickly implement the right climate policies and investment signals to ensure we are producing the green energy and other products that our key trading partners will increasingly demand,” she said.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/23/australias-reliance-on-gas-exports-questioned-as-japan-winds-down-fossil-fuel-power

Japan suffers frequently from typhoons and the occasional earthquake-induced mega-tsunami, and it has wind droughts like all other, so I’m a little doubtful that they will reach their destination. There’s only so much you can do to secure offshore wind turbines against hurricane winds and raging seas, and Japan has plenty of both.

But let’s say Japan is starting to demand imports of green hydrogen. Why should the Australian government be asked to “give the right signals” at any point? Why shouldn’t private investors raise the money when there was an investment opportunity?

As far as I know, nothing prevents green power entrepreneurs from raising private money and building their solar-hydrogen complex in the Australian desert – except for the almost complete lack of demand for their overpriced product.


Item rating

Like this:

Like Loading…

Comments are closed.