Fukishima Wind Turbine

The Guardian: Japanese Green Energy Targets Threaten Australia’s Gas Exports

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to The Guardian, Japanese offshore wind power and hydrogen will replace Australian natural gas exports at a faster rate than the Aussie government expects. But if there is such a market for green energy, why is government intervention required to realise this “opportunity”?

Australia’s reliance on gas exports questioned as Japan winds down fossil fuel power

Government urged to speed up transition to green energy as Australia’s biggest market shifts away from LNG and coal

Adam Morton Climate and environment editor
@adamlmorton Fri 23 Jul 2021 03.30 AEST

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.

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.

He said some thought it would be challenging for Japan to meet its revised targets, but the commitment showed the country was on a trajectory to using fewer fossil fuels. “It indicates a long-term decline in coal and gas,” Hughes said.

Rebecca Mikula-Wright, the chief executive of the Investor Group on Climate Change, said the draft energy mix was “a clear signal of the country’s intent to speed up its decarbonisation”. Australia’s other major customers in Asia – China and South Korea – were also heading towards net zero emissions and would reduce demand over the coming decade, she said.

“To remain competitive in global export markets, Australia needs to quickly put in place the right climate policy and investment signals to help ensure we are producing the green energy and other products that our major 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 frequent typhoons and the occasional earthquake driven mega-tsunami, and they have wind droughts like everyone else, so I’m a little dubious they will meet their target. There is only so much you can do to harden offshore wind turbines against hurricane force winds and pounding seas, and Japan has plenty of both.

But say Japan do start demanding imports of green hydrogen. Why would “the right signals” be required at any point from the Australian government? Why wouldn’t private investors come up with the cash, if an investment opportunity appeared?

To my knowledge nothing is stopping green energy entrepreneurs from raising private cash and building their solar hydrogen complex in the Aussie desert – other than an almost total lack of demand for their overpriced product.

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July 24, 2021 3:42 am

As long as you don’t care when you get your electricity, wind is just fine. There’s a Nobel prize for whoever finds a way to make that work for a developed economy.

Reply to  commieBob
July 24, 2021 8:06 am

Send one to the UK then… works here

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  griff
July 24, 2021 8:29 am

Always the fool
Trundling along for large periods with a couple percent from wind

That is not “running a modern economy on wind”.

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
July 24, 2021 9:49 am

From this energy site it appears the UK is running on mostly natural gas. And a lot of imported energy.


Gerry, England
Reply to  MaxD
July 25, 2021 9:27 am

National Grid has already issued a warning that supply will be tight this winter as 2 nuclear power stations close in the Autumn. they are ‘confident’ it won’t all fall over but then what else could they say. Throw in a blocking high that kills the windmills and brings cold temperatures pushing up demand in all the interconnector countries and there won’t be anything left to send us. Our first major grid collapse comes closer every year.

Reply to  MaxD
August 1, 2021 12:41 am

Well that’s how to make ‘wind’ work – rely on gas, nuclear, imports, and just say you’re running on wind.

Reply to  griff
July 24, 2021 9:21 am

UK imports electricity from the EU via underwater HVDC interconnects. Without those interconnects UK grid would already have failed many times with current state generation. Japan and SK can’t depend on anyone but themselves.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
July 24, 2021 9:23 am

In 2018 Japan’s energy mix was as follows

Natural Gas 36%, Coal 32%, Hydro 8%, Nuclear 6%, Solar 6%, Oil 5%, Bio fuels 4%, Wind 1%.

Until the Fukushima accident in 2011 nuclear generated 30% and it was expected to be 40% by 2017. The plan now is for 20% to be nuclear generated by 2030. Ten reactors have restarted since 2015 and 16 are in the process of restart approval.

Source: World Nuclear Association, Japan, update June 2021

Note that 1% wind!!

Last edited 1 year ago by Dave Andrews
Tom Abbott
Reply to  Dave Andrews
July 24, 2021 3:15 pm

I hear the Japanese are going to restart at least one of their nuclear reactors.

Reply to  griff
July 24, 2021 11:31 am

There’s a huge difference between hasn’t failed completely and works.

Reply to  griff
July 24, 2021 11:33 am

Call back when the UK can keep ticking along without electricity for days at a time.

Reply to  griff
July 24, 2021 12:20 pm

Griff is right!

Screenshot 2021-07-24 201932.png
Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
July 24, 2021 3:14 pm

“works here”


Reply to  griff
July 24, 2021 4:59 pm

What color is the sky in tour world?

John in Oz
Reply to  griff
July 24, 2021 5:26 pm

Griff seems to still be the equivalent of a 30+ year old still living in his parents’ basement.

Proclaiming his independence, living a lavish lifestyle but always knowing he can live for free due to the affluence of his parents.

Rich Davis
July 24, 2021 3:49 am

Australia’s other major customers in Asia – China and South Korea – were also heading towards net zero emissions and would reduce demand over the coming decade, she said

Typical Grauniad nonsensical wishspeak. In what griffian alt.universe is China heading towards net zero?

Btw is that Grauniad the UK, Oz, or Cleveland version?


Last edited 1 year ago by Rich Davis
Reply to  Rich Davis
July 24, 2021 9:00 am

“over the coming decade”? China has agreed to start reducing its “carbon” output after 2030.

So I guess continued increase in output for 81/2 years then achieve net zero in 18 months. Sounds like something griff and Loydo would believe. Me, not so much.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Drake
July 24, 2021 12:00 pm

China has not “agreed” to anything. For the Paris Accord, it said it planned on beginning to reduce its “carbon intensity” by 2030. Later, it said its “goal” is to be “carbon neutral” by 2060. Only the naive believe ChiCom “promises.” Hell, its gotten to the point I don’t even believe my own government anymore.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Dave Fair
July 24, 2021 3:18 pm

The Chicoms haven’t really made any promises. They just said they will re-evalute the situation in 2030. That doesn’t mean they are going to do anything to change what they are doing.

We may not even be talking about human-caused climate change by 2030.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 1, 2021 12:47 am

On can only hope! But temps over the past 20 years have basically leveled out because of the recent El Nina but the climate hysteria just gets more ridiculous every day.

July 24, 2021 4:06 am

Japanese are slowly restarting their reactor fleet. They have to. And they know it

oebele bruinsma
July 24, 2021 4:16 am

“According to The Guardian” says enough……

July 24, 2021 4:20 am

Sounds to me that Japan’s Ministry is just virtue signaling:
A) Draft
B) only a press release policy statement
C) There are funny numbers feeding this claim
D) this topic is under discussion, not actual policy!

The industry ministry’s policy draft released on Wednesday says renewables should account for 36-38% of power supplies in 2030″

1) Japan plans to reduce electricity use by 10% by 2030!

The industry ministry is taking actions to cut Japan’s electricity generation by 10 percent by fiscal 2030.”

2) Japan phrases their increased renewables differently.

Japan’s industry ministry says it aims to increase renewable energy output from fiscal 2019 levels by 70 percent by the year 2030.”

Reply to  ATheoK
July 24, 2021 9:02 am

And 70% of almost nothing is still almost nothing.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  ATheoK
July 24, 2021 9:05 am

“A) Draft Daft”

no charge for correction

George Daddis
Reply to  ATheoK
July 24, 2021 9:11 am

Japan plans to reduce electricity use by 10% by 2030!”

And what are their plans to increase EV use?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  George Daddis
July 24, 2021 3:23 pm

I see where General Motors Company has put out an alert on the Chevy Bolt Electric Vehicle after several battery fires recently. GM is telling Bolt owners not to park their cars in a garage, and not to charge them overnight unattended. And the alarmists want to put millions of these type of vehicles in your garage and on the road.


July 24, 2021 4:26 am

I would suggest that anybody reading the Guardian should suspend their disbelief and go into mirth mode.

Remember how we all looked forward to summer?

Beware summer! The season we used to anticipate as the lightest, brightest, balmiest time of the year now comes with a health warning.

For the first time in the UK, the Met Office issued an extreme heat advisory this week. 


And again, nature made them look foolish. 

UK weather: 36.4C recorded on hottest August day for 17 years


Last year was way hotter than this year, in fact its hardly got to 30C – averaging 28C – or so when the warning was issued.

Better luck next year?

Last edited 1 year ago by fretslider
Reply to  Barnes Moore
July 24, 2021 6:09 am

As we all know

Up is down, left is right etc

And Heller is dead right, ’76 was the best summer evah!

Reply to  fretslider
July 24, 2021 8:03 am

I have long since recommended Watts readers stop reading the Guardian. It only winds you up, why do it?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  griff
July 24, 2021 8:33 am

Because it is necessary to understand what the climate insane scientologist liars are saying in order to counter it

And mock it
Mocking is always fun
And some people appear to enjoy being mocked.
There is a psychology paper in that

Mark Kaiser
Reply to  griff
July 24, 2021 8:36 am

Actually that’s a good point griff. It does wind me up sometimes. I think the answer though is: “know your enemy”.

And a chance to vent as well. We are all human after all.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Mark Kaiser
July 24, 2021 4:06 pm

Provisionally accepting that griff is not a bot

Reply to  griff
July 24, 2021 9:52 am

I read the Gardner every morning because I like to start my day with a laugh.

Free comedy – what’s not to like?

Reply to  griff
July 24, 2021 7:50 pm

Say griff, can you also recommend to Watts readers the best era to live in?

1700 to 1775 perhaps? CO2 not an issue. Life expectancy about 30.
1800? CO2 still low. Life expectancy about 40.
1900? CO2 very benign. Life expectancy about 55.
2000? CO2 very dangerous, even deadly. Really, really dangerous stuff killing everyone around. Life expectancy over 75.

Reply to  BobM
July 25, 2021 9:45 am

Good point there, Bob – CO2 levels have a direct inverse correlation with child mortality, and a direct correlation with life expectancy. Wouldn’t that be evidence that CO2 is good?

Reply to  griff
July 24, 2021 9:52 pm

”I have long since recommended Watts readers stop reading the Guardian.”

LOL. But you are forever providing links to their propaganda.
Maybe you should practice what you preach.

July 24, 2021 4:49 am

thanks for sharing awesome one keep posting really appreciated amazing one i admired its incredible

Reply to  zee
July 24, 2021 5:30 am

I recognize every single word …
but have no idea what you are on about !!

Reply to  saveenergy
July 24, 2021 5:36 am

Wasted energy?

Reply to  fretslider
July 24, 2021 9:05 am

But it is renewable, so it is FREE, so who cares if you waste it??

Rich Davis
Reply to  saveenergy
July 24, 2021 5:55 am

Possibly a griffbot malfunction?

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  saveenergy
July 24, 2021 9:11 am

Obviously, it’s a Chinese or Russian bot lacking any programming for proper English sentence structure.

Welcome to the New World Order.

July 24, 2021 6:56 am

The drive to quietly expand more natural gas production from the Timor Sea off Australia’s NW coast will only increase in the coming decade. This methane resource for electrical generation will push Asia generator fleets to switch to clean nat gas. Whether they waste additional gas on CCS schemes remains to be seen.

July 24, 2021 7:06 am

The Guardian, better have a grain of salt handy when reading. Any country going for wind reliability will have to control weather and geologic forces to make it work. It can be talked about but doing it will be difficult and dangerous.

July 24, 2021 7:35 am

so the Guardian is claiming that for the first time in history, renewable energy is actually going to reduce fossil fuel consumption?

July 24, 2021 8:02 am

UK offshore wind turbines withstand very severe weather…

and do note Japan has now halted future coal projects.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  griff
July 24, 2021 8:34 am

Because they are restarting nuclear

Smart move

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
July 24, 2021 9:14 am

Smart move? Because it is so well-known that Japan has abundant deposits of uranium within its own borders? 😉

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
July 24, 2021 3:27 pm

Australia will be happy to sell Japan some uranium.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
July 24, 2021 6:10 pm

They need reliable power
They also don’t have coal or natural gas.

So if CO2 is a problem then nuclear is their only solution.

Or deindustrialize, that is always an option, preferred by 99 of 100 climate scientologists.

Reply to  griff
July 24, 2021 9:26 am

Coal is halted now that the Ichthys LNG Project is up and running. LNG tankers from Darwin will fuel Japan to allow coal retirement and allow emissions to fall.

Reply to  griff
July 24, 2021 11:37 am

The storms off Japan are both stronger and more frequent.

Reply to  griff
July 24, 2021 12:23 pm

UK offshore wind turbines withstand very severe weather…

Because they shut down

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
July 24, 2021 3:45 pm

Speaking of windmills, here’s an interesting article:


Are Wind Turbines a Danger to Wildlife? Ask the Dogs.
Humans are terrible at finding bats and birds killed by wind turbines. Dogs are great at it.

By Sarah Zhang

“Barley and Niffler are just two of the many conservation-detection dogs now employed by the growing wind industry. As turbines proliferate across the country, understanding their effect on wildlife is more important than ever. In the early days of turbines, scientists had focused on the danger they posed to eagles and other raptors—but it turns out those big bird carcasses were simply the easiest for humans to spot.”

end excerpt

Conservation-detection dogs. I guess finding dead animals is considered conservation by these people.

Gerry, England
Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 25, 2021 9:21 am

More likely the dogs are to find the dead bats and birds so they can removed as quickly as possible so that nobody else does and can make an accurate count of what they kill.

oeman 50
July 24, 2021 8:36 am

How does one “speed up a transition” on the supply side of a market? Refuse to sell the products (LNG and coal) when there are willing buyers? This doesn’t make sense.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  oeman 50
July 24, 2021 3:28 pm

“This doesn’t make sense.”

You nailed it.

Kevin kilty
July 24, 2021 8:58 am

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.

In other words, the increasing rate of mistakes of others makes imperative that we respond with an increasing rate of mistakes of our own.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kevin kilty
Gordon A. Dressler
July 24, 2021 9:02 am

In the above article, Eric ends with:
“To my knowledge nothing is stopping green energy entrepreneurs from raising private cash and building their solar hydrogen complex in the Aussie desert – other than an almost total lack of demand for their overpriced product.”

Ummm . . . how about the lack of any efficient and low cost means to transport hydrogen (either as a cryogenic liquid or as a high pressure gas) over long distances . . . but then again that might just be rolled up as a large portion of “overpriced” adjective.

Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
July 24, 2021 9:29 am

There is a trial LH2 tanker. It carries about 1/10 the BTU energy of an LNG tanker and costs 2x as much.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
July 24, 2021 1:07 pm

There will be improvements, but don’t hold your breath. For example:
 During the 15th century infantry began firing the arquebus, and then the matchlock. Improvements brought the musket, and then the rifled muskets. These were pushed aside by such as the Pennsylvania Long Rifle in the early 1700s.
In 1982 the modern sniper rifle began – – Accuracy International AW sniper rifle (L118A1). In recent years rifles are built that are accurate out to 3,500 m (McMillan TAC-50); about 2.2 miles.
Folks saw a need for improvements.
LH2 tankers — not so much.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  John Hultquist
July 24, 2021 1:32 pm

John, nothing in the record of rifle development that you noted was restricted by the basic laws of thermodynamics/physics . . .

LH2 tankers not so much

Rich Davis
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
July 24, 2021 4:21 pm

Thus in griff’s “mind”, it works. It would continue to work if it turned out to cost five or ten times as much. The more it costs, in fact, the better to cripple western civilization.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
July 24, 2021 6:06 pm

Pretty sure the reference is to political barriers, like we face continually here is canada.
The latest this week, the Quebec Govt gave thumbs down to an LNG plant, with the genius environment minister actually say there is no evidence it would reduce co2.


michael hart
July 24, 2021 10:29 pm

“Australia’s other major customers in Asia – China and South Korea – were also heading towards net zero emissions and would reduce demand over the coming decade, she said.”

And then she woke up.
Yet one more case of activists believing that something can be made to happen merely by stating that it is happening.

July 25, 2021 3:50 am

GREAT news
then we idiot aussies might GET our gas again at a decent price and supply
selling it cheap to japan and others has screwed our home supply and charges bigtime

July 26, 2021 2:47 am

“Give up gas our doom mongers cry. It’s not a transition fuel, it’s just dirty”

But that’s actually racist [or ethnist or something].
Stir -frying is a significant part of East Asian cuisine.
Try stir-frying with electricity. Very difficult if not impossible.
Stir frying requires a very hot heat source which can be provided by charcoal or gas.
Maybe you will able to use hydrogen but you will need to replace all your gas plumbing and i doubt that a way to reticulate hydrogen through cities has been developed yet.

So give up gas and remove stir fry from menus.

July 27, 2021 5:29 pm

There is (at least) one nation that lies about their CO2/Energy future more than China does….and that’s the US.

There are no workable plans to build out the necessary mega-nuclear build (needed as back-up for a quasi-planned “Renewables” build-up)… or any reasonable cost analysis of any of the options. Only lots of hand waving about how much cheaper Renewables will be. In that dream world, the Market will stampede into the “Renewables Future”. Well, the reality is already being seen in Germany.

Germany’s (so far) failed attempt has fallen way short of the promised CO2 reductions and the promised “reduction in energy costs” by actually increasing those future costs by a projected 300 to 400% (with battery back-up… and double the wind and solar production to have energy available for storage… bc/o the significant losses incurred with storage). This crippling cost increase will occur by 2030…unless their economy grinds to a halt first.

It’s bad accounting and lies “All the Way Down”…And I don’t hear any real discussions about the costs.

What I do see is lots of talk and stupid Pipeline Closures and Oil Lease restrictions that have ZERO effect on CO2 emissions but have already driven up energy costs by 30%.

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