Japan: Back to the Fossil Fueled Future!

Guest MJaGA! by David Middleton

MjaGA = Making Japan Great Again

From the Midget Oligarch Reporting On News Service (MORONS)…

Economics
Japan Goes Into Reverse on Going Green
The country abandoned nuclear energy and is building coal plants that will spew as much CO2 as all the cars in the U.S.

By Noah Smith
February 5, 2020

Modern living standards — indoor lighting, affordable food, heat in the winter, an internet connection — require energy. And every energy source has its drawbacks. It’s easy to point out the downsides of a given energy source and call for it to be banned. But if we’re not careful about weighing costs against benefits, we’re liable to end up with something even worse.

This is becoming painfully evident in the case of Japan. In 2011, a nuclear power plant in northeast Japan’s Fukushima prefecture was damaged by a huge tsunami and had multiple meltdowns. The radioactive contamination is still being dealt with and will be a major drain on government resources for decades to come.

[…]

But total electricity consumption dipped only slightly. Where did Japan make up the difference? Fossil fuels. These went from 62% of Japan’s electricity production before the disaster to about 80% after:

Bloomberg
Figure 1. “Back to the Future”! (Bloomberg)

It gets even better…

Even worse, it looks as if this is the new normal for Japan, at least for the next decade. A government push for green energy and rising public concerns about climate change have forced the cancellation of a few coal plants in favor of renewable sources. But the country is still on track to add more than 20 coal plants in the next five years. These plants are expected to emit as much carbon as all the passenger cars in the U.S.

Bloomberg

Japan has had a lot of help from the rest of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere

Figure 2. Global coal consumption by region (million tonnes of oil equivalent per year). BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2019. (Coal to remain ‘King’ in Southeast Asia)

And that help will likely carry on for decades…

Figure 3. No Green New Deal in the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. (Coal to remain ‘King’ in Southeast Asia)

The MORONS journalist actually had a rational opinion piece going, right up until the last paragraph…

So nuclear won’t be the thing that saves us from climate change; that task will fall to solar. But shuttering existing nuclear plants in the next decade would be a mistake. Despite the risks, the world isn’t ready for an abrupt transition away from nuclear. Getting rid of fossil fuels needs to be the top priority, and existing nuclear plants will remain a very important stopgap until solar really ramps up.

Bloomberg
Figure 4. Divide the solar PV and wind capacity by three to account for its feeble capacity factor and it’s clear that in 2040 the world will still likely be generating far more electricity from fossil fuels than from non-hydroelectric renewables. Under the IEA’s Stated Policies Scenario, we’ll be burning nearly three times as much natural gas and twice as much coal in 2040 that we were at the dawn of the 21st century… Excellent! (IEA Forecast: Solar to surge past coal & natural gas by 2040)

And in 2050 we will still likely be getting 2.5 times as much primary energy from fossil fuels as we will from renewables, including hydroelectric.

Figure 5. Renewables surge… But so do fossil fuels (US EIA).

The problem for people like Noah, is that there has never actually been an energy transition.

Figure 6. There has never been an energy transition.

We derive more energy from biomass now than we did when wood and whale oil were our primary energy sources. Renewables won’t be replacing anything. They’ll just be piled on top of the energy sources we were already tapping.

Figure 6. Noah Smith, Data is laughing at you.

Noah Smith

Noah Smith received his PhD in economics from the University of Michigan, graduating in 2012. His dissertation concerns expectation formation in financial markets. Noah majored in physics as an undergraduate at Stanford University, and spent three years working in Japan, where he still returns from time to time to do research.

Business Insider

Hey Noah!!!

Figure 7. Seven years of college down the drain. Might as well join the [fracking] Peace Corps.” WARNING: F-Bomb Alert!

And Noah, about that saving us from the weather thing…

Figure 8. Bwahaha!!! (EIA)
Figure 9. Bwahaha!!!

Because…

Figure 10. It’s a fossil fueled world. (2018 BP Statistical Review of World Energy).
Figure 11. Arthur Fonzarelli is living proof that short people can be cool… Unless they happen to be a midget oligarch trying to buy the presidency.
Advertisements

87 thoughts on “Japan: Back to the Fossil Fueled Future!

    • How many mini-bonsai trees does it take to equal the energy in a metric tonne of Wyoming sub-bituminous coal?

    • Yay for the Japanese. Now they just have to figure out not to put their backup generators in harm’s way and bring back the nuclear power plants.

      • “… had multiple meltdowns. The radioactive contamination is still being dealt with and will be a major drain on government resources for decades to come.” (My underline).

        Charles Japan is probably the highest I.Q. country on the planet. I think their government and their voters have by now come to fully appreciate nuclear’s dirty little secret.
        It is UNINSURABLE.
        True, the chances of it going boom are very low, but when it does …
        So the cost of nuclear power isn’t the cost, because it doesn’t include the insurance.
        And in the next war, where are the bombs likely to be dropped? Which country’s building lots of coal plant and very little nuclear? (and gets a free pass on it?)
        Old king coal.

  1. It’s about TIME Japan started replenishing the atmospheric CO2 from which their foodstuff consumption has been scavenging!

  2. Not a bad piece actually.

    Modern living standards — indoor lighting, affordable food, heat in the winter, an internet connection — require energy.

    He gets the problem. Until, and unless solar becomes practical we need electricity from somewhere. Dumping nuclear would be a mistake.

    Maybe he’s assuming solar will somehow become practical. In any event, he doesn’t advocate doing anything stupid in the meantime.

    I’m not an expert on nuclear power but I’m guessing that keeping the nuclear plants running will be much better for Japan’s balance of payments than would importing a lot of coal.

    One of the things we have to do is get rid of the linear no-threshold assumption for radiation hazard. Lawrence Solomon Being realistic about the dangers of radiation should take away 90% of the fear of nuclear accidents.

    • Maybe, but this one is a laugher:
      So nuclear won’t be the thing that saves us from climate change; that task will fall to solar.

  3. Japan’s leadership needs to go have a talk with the leaders of Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the EU and get them on the right track, which is to abandon “renewables” becasue they are an unworkable, bankrupting exercise.

    Tell Angela Merkel there is very little chance of a Tsunami hitting any nuclear powerplant in Germany. Maybe that will ease her fears and she can start those nuclear powerplants back up.

      • true
        however theyre starting to get the news about Chinas drop right now
        bhp and the rest are getting worried
        might actually be very useful wakeup for many of the idiots protesting
        and their huge drop in fuel use due to no traffic etc many tankers full and idling offshore dropping the barrelprices
        amazingly aussie petrol prices havent dropped at all though
        again -as always
        govt does nothing about us being screwed over as the higher the price the more tax they make
        still 1.44.9 locally

        • I don’t drive at the moment (Haven’t owned a car or driven in 6 years or so) but I noticed at the local petrol station as I ride past on the bus home, a litre of 91 was AU$1.27 just two weeks ago. Yesterday it was AU$1.67.

    • Why talk their economic competitors into being more competitive? Just beat them up for their stupidity.

      The Japanese are silly to close all their nukes, but at least they are building “compact” power plants, but that could be because their national land area will not allow for anything else.

      TRUMP! and the US are WINNING because he is not trying to change OUR competitors’ failed policies, just improve international agreements in the favor of the US.

      Let the stupids fall apart with their stupidity. Sorry to those going down with the ship. We in the US dodged a bullet when TRUMP! won the presidency so I feel for you. We would be in the same boat as all the other countries mentioned were it not for that.

    • “Basically gasifying Australian coal using CCS and importing the hydrogen” That seems awfully wasteful to toss out 1/4 of the energy content to convert easy to transport coal into hard to transport liquid hydrogen.

      • Even when presented with facts about how energy intensive and “emissions dirty” making hydrogen is currently, not even factoring in storing and transporting it, many people still believe there is a future in a hydrogen economy which will lead to lower emissions.

  4. “Each-Way Albo”, the [a-hem] ‘Leader’ of the Australian Federal Labor Opposition Party just announced a National “Zero Emissions” target as the official Labor policy.

    Can a politician or political party get any more stupid and hopelessly out of touch with reality than this lot?

    They clearly don’t even know what that implies!

      • The only two growth industries in Australia are politics, housing, migration and age care. And I bet you can guess which one will get the shit end of the stick.

          • they DO forget the aged are the majority and we VOTE!
            and quite a few aged are getting pretty angry at their kids and grandkids attitudes and lack of concern or care for anything but their inheritances

    • well thats a good thing
      ensures he wont get in

      if the slump in sales/exports to china goes on a while theres a huge amt of people going to really see just how “effective” losing jobs in mines n relateds is to their own jobs
      might be the wakeup call thats needed

  5. Sadly, Australia is now lagging badly in its contribution to the Asia/Pacific growth in coal consumption.
    We need to try harder.

  6. Japan won’t be bullied by the AGW hysteria. Good on them. This is eventually the way fossil fuel use will play out in the long run for all countries. Those that want to maintain living standards and prosperity will remain fossil fuel users until something better is developed (like nuclear). The closer the “green” countries get to abandoning fossil fuels the worse life will get for them and the people will demand equity in lifestyle. And climate change hysteria will slowly be ignored.

    • Compact nuclear plants would help. People imagine those tremendous domed structures as nuclear bombs waiting for some insane genius to set them off. And those cooling towers look like Mars space ships. Cooling ponds with spray fountains instead. Need nuclear facilities that look like a K-Mart with transmission cables underground. And if the reactor doesn’t need huge containment structures, so much the better. And no smokestacks.

      • re: “transmission cables underground”

        NOT an engineer I presume; underground HV transmission lines incur a lot of ‘dielectric loss’, and again, I don’t expect you to know why

        • Jim
          I’m a civil engineer not electrical so don’t know full pros and con of HV underground.
          But worked near Senoko power station in Singapore.
          HV cables underground.
          Takes up most of road but overall use less real estate.
          Also it may help in storms.

        • Ok up to 33kv IIRC, but not a good idea over all as you suggest. Most of Auckland city, NZ, was out of power for weeks in the late 90’s due to exactly this kind of problem with an underground cable.

          • G’day Patrick, I was living down the road in New Plymouth when those transmission lines failed and the faults had to be located over some weeks before any thought of repairs could be entered into. The interim solution was a diseasel genie on every block chugging away. Oddly, I don’t recall any protests from inner city ecotards over the pollution – as long as their lattes and vegan lasagnes were warm I guess their attitude is Gaia can take one for the team.

          • “Erny72 February 20, 2020 at 8:00 am”

            I had been in NZ, Wellington, just a few years when it happened and I too don’t recall any complaints about damage to the planet from diesel generators.

        • Agree, _Jim. I suppose any HV could be put underground w/the proper insulation/clearances, etc, but it would be very expensive & prb’ly more problem-prone, not less, than the standard above-ground. Not even considering costs, above ground HV lines are easy to inspect & repair compared to underground lines. And obtaining the right-of-ways, difficult as it is now for above-ground lines, would be even harder for HV underground lines.

        • Thanks for the pic, John. Just shows what alittle imagination & artistry can do, tho as an engineer I already admire the hyperbolic, natural-draft cooling towers.

        • Yes I was aware of these better than blowing them up. Sadly the power station was shutdown quite some time ago.

          • How cool is that! John thank you for bringing back memories. Yes that’s Orlando Power Station in Soweto which was one of two coal power stations owned by the City of Johannesburg. One of my first jobs when I worked in their electrical protection department was servicing the equipment there and at Kelvin Power Station near Johannesburg Airport.

  7. They know you cannot run a modern industrial, technologically advanced county on unreliable Wind and Solar. And low density power sources that take up vast amounts of valuable real estate. Off shore wind in typhoon prone areas is also a bad joke.
    Wind and solar crap is a lose-lose-lose disaster for a country like Japan.

    • All anti fossil fuel people should be true to themselves and live without any fossil fuels starting immediately. Interestingly the tsunami that hit Japan killed 10,000 people, the 50-year-old nuclear plant was damaged but to date not one person has died from radiation poisoning, including the 50 brave volunteers who went in to do deal with the damage and secure the plant. One worker did die from a heart attack.

      • IIRC, it was more like 20,000 who died from the tsunami, but yes, regardless, no-one died from radiation. Now the beaches and sea around the site are open for swimmers and fishing.

  8. And as Japan returns to sanity, the Democrat candidates for President are ALL calling for a war on climate change. I see a Trump landslide coming on. KAG TRUMP 2020.
    Thank God for Trump, and you might also want to thank God that you live in the good oil USA.

    • …is there a country by the name of “Climate Change”?

      A bunch of terrorists somewhere that thought the name would make them invincible?

      Perhaps another justification for the southern Wall, or a new weapons program over at the DOD?

      Democrats just voted to limit the executive with their War Powers act–doesn’t that negate their efforts to elect a president to fight climate change, whatever that might be?

      It’s all very hypocritical!!

  9. Speaking of midget oligarchs, I just suffered through 2 hours, 2 hours that I’ll never get back, and watched that Circular Firing Squad tonight called the Democratic Debate in Las Vegas between 1 multi-billionaire, 4 multi-millionaires, and 1 gay guy from Indiana.

    Farmer Mini-Mike the Oligarch got his ass handed to him hardest for sure. It’ll be interesting to see what he does tomorrow. Will he just ignore it and push on with another $400billion in ads by Super Tuesday?

    The Faux Cherokee at the closing remarks was pining about her hard scrabble life in Oklahoma yet now she a multi-millionaire living with a multimillion dollar house in Boston. I was waiting for her to invoke how her famous family recipe PowWow Chow got them through the tough times.

    Sleepy Quid-Pro Joe woke up a couple times to tell how everyone how after being in Washington power circles as a Senator and VP for 46+ years he was going to go back there fix things. But he had the best teeth of the except for the gay guy.

    Amy was barely keeping it together at the end after a schoolyard beat down by the small gay kid from Indiana.
    Bernie was still just the raving lunatic Communist he always has been.

    And they were ALL promising free stuff for everyone, from free healthcare, to free college tuition, to free trains, to free childcare… all to save the planet from some mythical climate threat, a threat they don’t even realize is a scam. And ALL promising to rejoin that utterly useless Paris Agreement that send billions of tax dollars to the UN to dole out. All while promising to throw tens of millions of US workers out of work by shutting down domestic energy production.
    Final Analysis: They are all raving mad lunatics.

    The winner of tonight’s Democratic Debate, hands-down: Donald Trump.

    The biggest loser was certainly the midget oligarch farmer Mike.

    • Joel
      We witnessed similar entertainment in the U.K. with Labour politicians making up ever more absurd muti-million pound promises every hour of our recent election contest. I think it got to free diamond studded ice creams for every child who had ever been harshly spoken to by any adult. Strangely the country saw through this and handed out a total beating, though the left are still in denial claiming it was the fault of the stupid and lies about needing to get off our knees from EU thraldom. They also think very mistakenly that people in northern England have merely temporarily crossed the political divide; I think they are wrong and something much more permanent has taken place to do with aspiration and comparing life ambitions.

      I wonder how this play our for Bernie. But I like your description of a circular firing squad debate?

      • “Moderately Cross of East Anglia February 20, 2020 at 1:39 am

        I think it got to free diamond studded ice creams for every child who had ever been harshly spoken to by any adult.”

        Like being told to stand on the “naughty step” for 5 minutes?

    • Joel, Incredible. Two hours of THAT. I was so proud of my intestinal fortitude and open mindedness for patiently waiting while the candidates explained how they are going to save the planet from global warming. (actually I had it recorded and didn’t give each speaker their full allotted time). Bloomberg, 20 seconds, Warren 30 seconds, Bernie 5 seconds and the small= town mayor 10 seconds, but Joe hooked me for a full minute. Oh and BTW Klobachar favors natural gas as a “transition fuel” so sheas a heretic has zero chance of winning the Democrat nomination. I knew going in that except for Bloomberg the candidates were not presidential material. I didn’t want to rush to judgement, and I didn’t. Bloomberg fits nicely under the clown tent. You have it quite right,” Final Analysis: They are all raving mad lunatics”….Bloomberg and the other mayor may have some issues but in fairness they appear sane but “misguided”. The same can’t be said for Bernie, Liz and Joe they literally are “raving mad lunatics”(IMHO) Note I tried to post this last night but it apparently didn’t make it).

    • But he had the best teeth of the except for the gay guy.

      (yeah, but you don’t know where the gay guy’s teeth have been)…

    • It is past time to get angry at the Socialists, the Leftist ecoterrorists, and the Marxists being paid by smug elitist billionaires in their efforts to destroy the middle class.

      • Let’s not kid ourselves. No leftist is reading any posts here.

        Well-written, argued, and factual material MAY stand a chance to reach someone who is open to different ideas. But part of why I come here to read is to build MY knowledge base so that I am more effective with MY family and friends.

        With limited time. And while it may be great fun to denigrate, it’s tiresome and distracts from the main points.

    • …very short on facts, devoid of logic, and missing all the right notes!

      It was like a bunch of monkeys trying to make music with discarded horns and drums behind a pawn shop!

      Embarrassing does not begin to describe it!

    • It is time to get angry, we have been forgiving of their ignorance for way too long. The Marxists do not respond to logic or balanced debate. They only recognise strength. It is time, those of us who value our freedom, demonstrate our innate strength. The desire of the Marxists, is to destroy democracy and destroy personal freedoms. It is time to fight back and fight back hard, while we still have the energy (literally) and the resources available to do so.

      • Yes we have been forgiving for too long. We believed that ‘tolerance’ was the way to get along with the progressive/democrat/socialists because they TOLD us to tolerate THEM. Now they have placed their people in leadership positions of almost every institution in our country, including the churches. And they have shown what they really believe about tolerance. The fight is on. Apologies only make them come down harder on us. Trump is our last hope. God bless Trump and God bless the USA.

        • Yes, notice how “tolerance” is ingrained in everything. The result of many decades of gradual indoctrination and the route used to quietly infiltrate and keep everyone pacified in the process. Now the level of infiltration/indoctrination is sufficient to come out of the closet openly and not be rejected/pointed-out except by the older, more experienced.

  10. Happy to see the Japanese not giving into the political pressure haunting most of the western world and justified as necessary to “save the Planet”. Europe’s political leaders have been making foolish economic decisions for decades. For example- the price of petrol and other energy. The taxes on petrol and other types of energy have forced many Europeans to drive tiny little cars, use mass transit and live in small cramped spaces in order to pay the energy bill. But hey- that has artificially depressed energy use and kept prices low so Americans can live large on cheap energy. I just hope America doesn’t adopt this economic foolishness under the guise of “saving the planet”.

  11. Hey David, go easy on Data!
    If he hears mini-Mike’s running mate will likely be Hilary, springs and gaskets will fly!

  12. I have no contact to Japan, but could imagine that the deaths and suffering after the tsunami was an eyeopener to the need of trusty, high quality electricity 24/7/365.25, for the supply of water, food, orderly trade, electronic communication, etc.
    Another thing is the high population density and the mountainous awesome nature, making it very destructive to the country, if they were to build industrial low flux energy systems like wind and solar on any major scale.
    Thirdly Japan technically needs to secure their on-demand energy supply, before they could even begin to consider the virtue signalling with additional supplements using wind and solar.

  13. Did Japan make any kind of commitment to reducing emissions at Paris? If they did seems like they just gave Paris the bird.

  14. It’s no mystery that auto manufacturing is a major consumer of energy..what does Japan make a lot of?? Cars, to the tune of more than 8 mill in 2018..In order to continue producing you need a reliable source of energy..without coal, something tells me their manufacturing base would feel the effects..

  15. The main problem with the Fukushima nuclear plant was not that it was a nuclear power plant, but where they built it–on a tsunami-prone beach between two hills, which channeled the tsunami water straight over the nuclear plant. There was also no way to start the water pumps remotely (from the top of one of the hills) once the nuclear plant was flooded. If there had been such a provision, someone who escaped the tsunami to higher ground could have started the pumps and prevented the worst of the contamination.

    This poor design is not unique to Japan. There were also large pumps behind the levees in New Orleans, but they could not be started remotely from the top of the levees. After Hurricane Katrina broke some of the levees, the pumps could not be started, and they sat there useless underwater for many days.

    Japan should not give up on nuclear power after Fukushima, since Japan has very little fossil fuel of its own and needs to import most of its supply. Japan just needs to learn its lesson, be more careful about where they build nuclear power plants, and enable the pumps to be started remotely for any nuclear power plant located near the shore.

    • Japan is a harbinger of the push to “Green” energy. They have already decided to ignore the only viable energy option available to them (nuclear). It would seem that their political system, as well as most of the rest of the world, cannot commit to logical long term energy goals. Germany followed suite.
      And the rest can’t wait to pile on the gravy train of wealth redistribution.
      Marx would be proud.

  16. Is there a municipality anywhere that is now 100% solar or wind-powered?
    I know that there are some who claim to be 100% “renewable”, but they seem to be still connected to the grid for when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

  17. “multiple meltdowns” This of course never happened. The only radiation signatures they managed to pick up and hype were leftover traces from the Bikini Atoll tests and in some waste pools. Fukushima, like most other things, was completely overhyped. Some have been trying for decades to get nuclear plants Down Under but while those opposed know nothing about nuclear science it may never happen.

  18. I thought the Japanese wanted to create a hydrogen society and their department for new energies (NEDO) and Mitsubishi are very ambitious when it comes to LENR (low energy nuclear reaction).
    Instead of using inefficient hydrolysis or coal, they could generate much more and clean energy via the new nuclear reactions (American Physical Association calls it “cold fusion”, others have named it LENR).

  19. In 2011, a nuclear power plant in northeast Japan’s Fukushima prefecture was damaged by a huge tsunami and had multiple meltdowns. The radioactive contamination is still being dealt with and will be a major drain on government resources for decades to come.

    ____________________________________

    Hard to understand. Why ain’t the nuclear waste long ago disposed of in the subduction zone:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=fukushima+subduction+zone&oq=Fukushima+subduction+z&aqs=chrome.

    And why wasn’t the nuclear reactor simply supported to melt its way through the Earth’s crust to its nickel iron core.

    ____________________________________

    Japan’s politics, Japan’s determination is simply overrated.

  20. How many people died at Fukushima?

    A May 2012 United Nations committee report stated that none of the six Fukushima workers who had died since the tsunami had died from radiation exposure. According to a 2012 Yomiuri Shimbun survey, 573 deaths have been certified as “disaster-related” by 13 municipalities affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

    https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Fu…
    Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster casualties – Wikipedia

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster_casualties&ved=2ahUKEwi48ffclILoAhWSp4sKHY_qBdYQFjABegQIARAI&usg=AOvVaw2mE7BHbXhB51kDCIapHBwC

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Fukushima+tsunami+casualties&oq=Fukushima+tsunami+casualties+&aqs=chrome.

    ~13000 people missed, ~18000 drowned as a result of the tsunami.

    For weeks and weeks we had the burning buildings in the news – nothing to do with “nuclear”, just oxyhydrogen explosions on the top floors.

    The Japanese technicians sat in shock, idling in front of the computer screens.

    After a month, unemployed temporary workers were requested to clean up.

    What a miserable failure.

    The German Greens TODAY are still crying for the “Fukushima effect”.

  21. Unneeded “nuclear waste” is simply deposed with https://www.google.com/search?client=ms-android-huawei&sxsrf=ALeKk03BdyPOf62LQLnbEh6KcU0bNPJ8IQ%3A1583372450211&ei=olhgXsfFDOLvsAfqoKLoBA&q=nuclear+waste+castors&oq=Nuclear+wastecastors&gs_l=mobile-gws-wiz-serp.

    Make it a serial production, rebuild a few old freighters and sink the trash in the subduction zone.

    Japanese really ain’t comprehensible, what are they waiting for – it’s their country, it’s their seas.

    What further invitation are they waiting for.

Comments are closed.