BBC: Japan’s COP26 Climate Solution Includes 22 New Coal Plants

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

“It’s a total joke”: Japan throwing a hilarious smokescreen over their commitment to climate action.

Climate change: Is ‘blue hydrogen’ Japan’s answer to coal?

By Rupert Wingfield-Hayes
BBC News, Tokyo

It’s a glorious autumn afternoon and I’m standing on a hillside looking out over Tokyo Bay. Beside me is Takao Saiki, a usually mild-mannered gentleman in his 70s.

But today Saiki-San is angry.

“It’s a total joke,” he says, in perfect English. “Just ridiculous!”

The cause of his distress is a giant construction site blocking our view across the bay – a 1.3-gigawatt coal-fired power station in the making.

“I don’t understand why we still have to burn coal to generate electricity,” says Saiki-San’s friend, Rikuro Suzuki. “This plant alone will emit more than seven million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year!”

Suzuki-San’s point is a good one. Shouldn’t Japan be cutting its coal consumption, not increasing it, at a time of great concern about coal’s impact on the climate?

So why the coal? The answer is the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

In their place Japan’s gas-fired power stations have been doing a lot of overtime. But, as Britain has found out recently, natural gas is expensive.

So, the Japanese government decided to build 22 new coal-fired power stations, to run on cheap coal imported from Australia. Economically it made sense. Environmentally, not so much. Japan is now under intense pressure to stop using coal.

Read more:

Japan claims their coal plants are green hydrogen ready, but given how they baulked at the price of natural gas, I’m guessing the switch to green hydrogen will be a long time coming.

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John Garrett
December 6, 2021 10:06 am

Sophistry and casuistry at its finest!

Reply to  John Garrett
December 6, 2021 12:54 pm

A lot of countries concluded these events and “agreements” are just for show and tell but not substance. They do attend and contribute in case these is big money to split up for demonstration projects and photo ops.

alastair gray
Reply to  John Garrett
December 6, 2021 1:39 pm

Best thing for green idiocy Nip it in the bud. Rets go Blandon!

Rud Istvan
December 6, 2021 10:11 am

The Japanese are pragmatic. Coal is easy and cheap, and their 22 new supercritical units will run about 41-43% thermal efficiency with lifetimes over 40 years and LCOE economics only slightly worse than CCGT (depending on LNG price)—about $62-65/MWh versus CCGT (US nat gas price pre Bidenflation) about $57/MWh.

As Voglte 3 and 4 are proving in the US, Gen 3 nuclear is horrendously expensive with very long lead times. And Gen 4 nuclear (which comes in several possible guises) is decades away from practical reality.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Rud Istvan
December 6, 2021 10:21 am

I wonder just how much of the cost of nuclear in the US is due to Carter era changes to environmental review procedures, partly the seemingly endless appeals.

Dan DeLong
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 6, 2021 10:41 am

Here’s a link to just that: The Myth of Expensive Nuclear Power

Dan DeLong
Reply to  Dan DeLong
December 6, 2021 11:03 am

I see that some readers cannot show the figures. Here is a similar article:

Note the huge differences in cost of the same reactor design, depending on country.

Reply to  Dan DeLong
December 6, 2021 2:49 pm

It looks to me that the longer you take to build it , the more it costs. Duh!

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Macha
December 6, 2021 3:21 pm

Voglte 3-4 are >8 years late (and just incurred another 8 month delay due to newly discovered defective welds) and >2x over budget.

Reply to  Tom Halla
December 6, 2021 12:47 pm

75% of the cost of nuclear is in the political regulatory hoop jumping. The actual construction cost is similar to coal and the fuel is way cheaper.

Reply to  Tom Halla
December 6, 2021 6:33 pm

These plants are constructed under the “one-stop licensing” reforms where if an approved design is built as designed, the plant can go into operation when completed. One of the problems is that the design was not as complete as you might think. Another is that the supply chain is spread around the globe and many had not done any nuclear work before. Finally, the skilled workforce still required to build even these streamlined plants is scarce and many still in the business are in their 50s and 60s. I see that only about 0.65 hours of work are accomplished for every hour scheduled.

I worked on the sister units in South Carolina that were cancelled. Every month I would get the construction progress report and note how far behind they slipped each month. When Westinghouse declared bankruptcy and the utilities were allowed to go in and look at their how they came up with their scheduling it was clear how much BS they were feeding us. The owners of Vogtle were much bigger financially and also got Obama bucks to build the plant so they could ride it out better. They bid and we folded. Some of our firmer executives are now facing legal action for not being forthright with the state regulators.

Westinghouse was a bastard to deal with. Good people at the first supervisory level and below. Above that, bastards. I don’t expect it has improved since they were bought out by a private equity firm.

Though 4 such units have gone into service in China and are apparently performing well, any western utility considering building one of these should have their head examined. The Chinese actually bought all rights to the design and have come up with an uprated higher rated-power version.

I am a lot more optimistic about the nuScale SMR than Rud is.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  guest
December 7, 2021 4:38 am

Guess “I am a lot more optimistic about the NuScale SMR….” SO AM I

peter schell
Reply to  Rud Istvan
December 6, 2021 10:30 am

ThorCon who are building a test model prior to ‘maybe’ building a fleet of barge reactors for Indonesia claims that their plants using mostly off the shelf materials, not counting the reactor pots, will match coal prices.

Also says that if they prove out the concept and the market is there that they can build a 100gigawatts a year.

Lots of maybes in there, but I’m watching them with interest.

Oh, and the reason they are dealing with Indonesia, they estimate it would cost a billion dollars in the states just to do the preliminary applications to ask to make an application.

Reply to  peter schell
December 6, 2021 6:45 pm

I follow both the nuclear and spaceflight communities. (I originally wanted to be an aerospace engineer but switched to nuclear in the post Apollo cutbacks and the emerging “energy crisis”). I notice a common trait of techno-optimism whether it’s thorium reactors or mars colonies. Usually it’s either boomers who remember the techno-optimism of the 1950s and 60s and want a return to their youth or it’s much younger people who have read about it or saw pictures or videos of the time. It’s understandable when when you see how much around us is degrading and cannot seem to be even maintained. Even when there are technical innovations, it ends up producing porn or cat videos. Or filming the latest smash and grab robbery.

Most of these designs never make it past the artist concept stage. Even fewer make it past a detailed simulation stage. Good CGI though.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
December 6, 2021 12:10 pm

Japan has been importing from Australia the high quality coal to burn for generating ‘blue hydrogen’.
Apparently latest news as I understood is that they are going to build power stations in Australia, burn coal on the site, capture CO2 and keep it in underground storage there. The cost and CO2 footprint of transporting hydrogen is going to be only fraction of the coal equivalent.

Steve Case
Reply to  Vuk
December 6, 2021 1:43 pm

“…capture CO2 and keep it in underground storage…”

Sequestering carbon dioxide is an idea without merit.

Reply to  Steve Case
December 6, 2021 7:03 pm

At least with geostorage we have the ability to release the CO2 again and stop the next glaciation. The ideas that convert it to calcium carbonate rock are bad…. I’ll put a /s on this…

Reply to  Vuk
December 6, 2021 5:01 pm

Entropy! Entropy !

Why convert coal fired plants to use hydrogen and ammonia for fuel? energy is lost in producing energy from coal, more energy and lots of it to produce hydrogen or ammonia and more energy is lost in burning hydrogen and ammonia back to electricity.

The BBC article seems to be based on some supernatural powers to produce hydrogen and ammonia. It is completely irrational to burn coal , sequester the carbon dioxide to produce hydrogen and ammonia. It would be more advisable for BBC and the greenies interviewed to lobby for research grants to first repel the second law of thermodynamics. There will be lots of “crooks” in the scientific community who will make the research proposal and accept the grants.

Reply to  eo
December 7, 2021 12:30 am

Luckily the supply of irrationality in warmista circles appears to be limitless.

Reply to  Vuk
December 7, 2021 12:29 am

I would have thought that the energy recovery of transporting coal to Japan would have made much more sense.

You get effectively all the energy in the coal, which requires a simple low cost pad to store until you want to use it.

And burn the coal to make electricity in Japan.

Compared to getting a relatively low percentage of energy once you have paid in energy terms for all the processing, the cost of compression of a gas with a terrible specific energy, and the cost of ships etc required to handle hydrogen.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
December 6, 2021 12:55 pm

As Voglte 3 and 4 are proving in the US, Gen 3 nuclear is horrendously expensive with very long lead times. And Gen 4 nuclear (which comes in several possible guises) is decades away from practical reality.

Gen 3 is ruinous because of regulatory ratcheting.
Gen 4 is practically oven ready – should be being built by 2024. All the technology was proven years ago – its all about mass rollout of factory built units, pre approved and type approved.

In short the nuclear power industry can deliver one of half a dozen decent designs in a few years. All that is missing is the political will.

If οἱ πολλοί demand it, the nuclear industry is poised to deliver, once it is obviuous to the meanest intelligence – even if not to a Green – that renewables are not going anywhere.

Reply to  Leo Smith
December 6, 2021 2:37 pm

An interesting article a few years ago, with extensive detail, claimed that the largest reason, by a considerable margin, is that every USA built nuclear plant is a one-off project using hundreds of contractors with no nuclear experience, each of whom do their best to make the most profit from their slice of the project. Their inexperience and lack of any real understanding of the engineering difference between other and nuclear requirements lead to a great deal of wasted effort and redoing of out of specification work. Thus there are always huge cost overruns and failures to meet timetables.

An analogous, but minor, example is a complaint I read from someone who hired a single contractor to build a small recording studio as an extension to his home. The contractor was very convincing that he understood the requirements laid out to him.

The resulting ‘studio’ had virtually no acoustic isolation and was totally useless for purpose. The contractor replied that the complaints were totally unjustified. That room had an R rating far above normal construction standards!

Reply to  AndyHce
December 6, 2021 10:13 pm

Sounds to me like the french mega-bucks superphoenix to me. It has to do anything except produce a reliable supply of electricity, that “anything” meant a reliable supply of French government money, and make a “proof of concept” which is totally meaningless without generating power…

The French love this kind of thing. Wasting billions to run liquid sodium cooling.
What ever could go wrong with that?

December 6, 2021 10:21 am

Well since the figure of 22 new plants was published in February 2020 there’s been a change…

Last planned coal plant project in Japan scrapped amid green push | The Asahi Shimbun: Breaking News, Japan News and Analysis

“Kanden Energy Solution Co. said on April 27 it is abandoning plans to build a coal-fired thermal plant in Akita.


The end of the project means there are no

longer any plans in the works for new coal plants in Japan, aside from projects

that have already started.”


So how many actually building when this news story came out in April 2021?

“At the end of last June, there were plans to build or rebuild 17 units” says the article…
And the one listed above is not the only one to be abandoned since then – e.g

One of Japan’s last remaining coal plant construction plans abandoned | ClientEarth
I think it may be as few as 6 building – then no more ever. BBC article is out of date/incomplete.

Reply to  griff
December 6, 2021 10:33 am

Maybe also out of date on Russian plans to expand production and exports to Asian countries.

Reply to  griff
December 6, 2021 10:43 am

For an article published today, I can’t see why the BBC would be using out of date information.

Reply to  Rhs
December 6, 2021 2:41 pm

Doesn’t the BBC only ever use information supportive of their narrative: it is time to panic?

Reply to  griff
December 6, 2021 10:50 am

Griff, I think the problem is not so much with the numbers, which are massaged every which way in presentation. The real problem is no-one outside of a small but influential circle in a few Western countries believes any of it.

They are influential, they convene conferences to which people feel obliged to send representatives if only (as with China at COP26) to ward off damaging and inconvenient decisions.

But there is really no evidence that most of the world believes any of it. Its just lip service. So the Japanese will tell a good story, as will the Chinese and the Indians maybe less so but will go through the motions.

But when it comes down to it, there is always going to be a reason why we are not going as fast as we would like, or the explanation will be we are reducing carbon intensity, or our per capita emissions, or maybe our historical cumulative emissions are lower…or maybe we are installing a whole lot of solar…

You may be able to get the UK and Germany, and to some extent the US, to drive off the cliff. But the rest of the world is obviously determined to carry on growing as fast as it can, and that includes raising emissions.

The question for the true believers is then what the best course is, given that no-one is going to do anything effective, and so the actions of the believers will be totally ineffective.

If you guys are right, which I don’t believe you are, you should stop advocating emission reduction and start advocating for defensive measures to protect the local population.

Why aren’t you? Why are you so fixated on trivial and useless and ineffective local reductions?

Reply to  michel
December 6, 2021 12:58 pm

Griff probably doesn’t even believe in it himself. Its’ just something to be, An eco warrior. Without it his life is empty and meaningless.

John Endicott
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 7, 2021 8:26 am

Griff believes whatever his paymasters require him to believe

Reply to  griff
December 6, 2021 11:42 am


Thanks for the update. As far as I can see there are around 12 coal power stations under construction. However this is even more interesting

“But Japan is still home to 150 coal-fired power plants, with 5GW under construction and two 650MW units in planning stages by Marubeni and Kanden Energy Solutions.”

you do realise the UK has two generators at Drax and 2 dedicated coal power stations both of which are due to close by 2024?

Gas supplies are being run down. One nuclear to close shortly the new one will be ready who knows when.

As we need four times the current levels of energy to cater for EV’s, cooking and heating, perhaps you can tell me where it is to come from?

Please look at the physics, maths and ethics before suggesting more renewables


Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  tonyb
December 7, 2021 2:24 am

“As we need four times the current levels of energy to cater for EV’s, cooking and heating….”. And probably much more to feed the giant batteries.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  griff
December 6, 2021 1:01 pm

Make a complaint to the BBC here

Let us know the result

Dave Fair
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 6, 2021 4:11 pm

I wonder if China’s aggression will force Japan into nuclear weapons.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 6, 2021 7:11 pm

They certainly have designs. I think they have reprocessed plutonium from an intended breeder reactor program that never took off. That material is watched pretty closely by international inspectors. Cheating is possible but difficult. I would guess there are no actual warheads but the cores could be fabricated pretty quickly in a crisis.

Not sure how they could deliver them. They don’t have any bombers. I don’t know about IRBMs or missiles. They could adapt their space launch vehicles but these are liquid fueled and would take hours (at least) to prepare for launch from out in the open sites.If I were an adversary (China) I would watch those launch sites for any unannounced launches and pre-emptively take them out is any suspicious activity is derected.

Taiwan is probably in a similar situation. They might be better off getting a turnkey nuke and delivery system from India if India was game.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 7, 2021 2:30 am

hmmmm… if a nation that depends entirely or almost on wind and solar – and a war starts- and that nation is attacked- I should think it won’t be too difficult to destroy those “renewables”. A strafing run over a solar “farm” would kill it. It probably wouldn’t take much fire power to stop a wind turbine. It would be like shooting fish in a barrel. Nobody seems to talk about this vulnerability. Of course most power plants would be vulnerable to a modern military- but the renewables would be the first to go down, I should think.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 7, 2021 4:04 am

Waste of bullets. I would attack any reliable plant.

“We can’t fight today because there is no wind” 🤓

John Endicott
Reply to  Derg
December 8, 2021 6:58 am

Joseph’s hypothetical was “a nation the depends entirely or almost [entirely] on wind and solar”. In such a hypothetical, there is no reliable plant to attack..

The problem with Joseph’s hypothetical isn’t the target selection, it’s that no country can depend entirely (or even almost entirely) on wind and solar. Any country that did so depend on unreliables wouldn’t be much of a threat and thus wouldn’t be worth the effort to attack.

alastair gray
Reply to  griff
December 6, 2021 1:41 pm

BBC full of Doo-doo Go and wash your mouth out Griff

Chris Hanley
Reply to  griff
December 6, 2021 1:44 pm

Griff’s link takes me to an old article from the usual suspects (‘promoting environmental justice … tackling climate change … climate accountability’) headed by the usual intentionally misleading stock photo of steam coming from cooling towers shot against the sun to make it appear dark and threatening but that is labelled on pixabay: ‘nuclear power plant cooling towers’
The photo at the top of this article is similarly suggestive and misleading.

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris Hanley
Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Chris Hanley
December 7, 2021 2:36 am

“…steam coming from cooling towers shot against the sun to make it appear dark and threatening…”

got that right!

Dave Fair
Reply to  griff
December 6, 2021 4:08 pm

I think it may be as few as 6 building – then no more ever.” Griff, what you think matters not; its what you can prove. And thank you for telling the Japanese what their long-range plans are for their electric power sector. Also, please note that forever is a long time.

Reply to  Dave Fair
December 6, 2021 10:19 pm

Griff as usual feels free to comment on other countries which he knows nothing about and has never visited.

First it was France, apparently knowing FA about how to run their NPPs, then Germany who have no problems with winter fog, and now Japan…

The guy’s talent to comment about anything other than the cursed island off the French coast is limitless!

Reply to  Dave Fair
December 7, 2021 1:09 pm

Forever is a long time – especially the part near the end.

Yogi Berra

Last edited 1 year ago by meab
Reply to  griff
December 7, 2021 4:48 am


The article is more recent than yours and it is locked in as they will be HELE designs. The intention is to close some older more polluting ones and replace with these new design.

Reply to  griff
December 7, 2021 7:14 am

I keep telling you and I keep posting the link but you won’t actually see for yourself exactly what Japan and the rest of the world are doing with coal plants.

John Endicott
Reply to  Rusty
December 9, 2021 3:34 am

The griffter doesn’t bother reading/comprehending the links provided by others. Heck, half the time he does bother reading/comprehending the links that he himself posts.

John Endicott
Reply to  John Endicott
December 9, 2021 5:36 am

should have read “he does *not* bother”,

David Dibbell
December 6, 2021 10:22 am

From the linked article: “The plants [i.e. coal-fired power plants; it’s a bit unclear whether this refers to only to the new plants to be built, or to pre-existing coal-fired plants. – dd] can be quite easily converted to burning hydrogen or ammonia, neither of which produce any carbon dioxide. So this seems like a good solution.” No, that would truly be a terrible idea. This unwarranted fear of carbon dioxide emissions is driving otherwise sane people mad.

Dave Fair
Reply to  David Dibbell
December 6, 2021 4:13 pm

IIRC, it takes more energy to produce hydrogen than can be recovered burning it.

Reply to  David Dibbell
December 7, 2021 7:11 am Move slider to 2021 to see new, under construction and planned.

December 6, 2021 10:30 am

Let’s not forget the Russian plan to expand coal production and exports also.

Meanwhile, Russia is already planning to increase the production of coal through 2035. Coal production has topped 400 million tons annually since 2017, with more than 50% exported. Mr. Putin has charged his ministers to increase coal shipments to Asia by at least 30% by 2024.
“It is necessary to carefully study all possible scenarios in order to guarantee the steady development of our coal-mining regions even with a decrease in global demand for coal,” Mr. Putin told his ministers earlier this year.

M Courtney
Reply to  ResourceGuy
December 6, 2021 2:19 pm

That doesn’t mean that Russia doubts the catastrophic extreme claims of Greenpeace. It may man that they believe it and welcome it.

In the worst case Siberia transforms from tundra to wheat and paddy fields, the NE passage opens up to shipping and Russia gains blue sea ports. Life in Moscow and St Petersburg becomes more pleasant in Winter too.
All that’s needed is flood defences in the Baltic.

One of the failings of COP26 was that the West didn’t offer to replace Russia’s revenue from fossil fuel sales and also to compensate for the missed financial gains I just listed.
Without that great subsidy for Russia no action to mitigate against AGW by anyone else can ever succeed.

Well, not without conquering Russia militarily to change their policy, but that causes the environmental damage of nuclear war.

Robert Hanson
Reply to  M Courtney
December 6, 2021 2:45 pm

In fact, Russia’s Climate Scientists have been predicting Global Cooling for at least a decade now.

Reply to  Robert Hanson
December 6, 2021 4:08 pm

Russian researchers prediction of a new cooling was featured in Time Magazine and its cover mid-1970s

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Robert Hanson
December 7, 2021 2:40 am

a Tony Heller video showing Walter Cronkite informing us of the coming ice age

Reply to  M Courtney
December 6, 2021 10:21 pm

NE passage opens up to shipping ……. Life in St Petersburg becomes more pleasant in Winter too

In your dreams!!
I suggest you pop over to SPB right now, it’s a somewhat early winter just arrived!

M Courtney
Reply to  pigs_in_space
December 7, 2021 6:04 am

Conditional clauses are complicated.

December 6, 2021 10:36 am

On the Gowk’s Lantern news just now it reported that Japan is going to stop importing coal and instead will buy “blue” hydrogen made in Australia from coal, thereby cutting out their “carbon footprint” and giving it to Australia instead. There was a picture of a hydrogen carrying ship delivering to Japan.
I am not sure that I would want to work on that vessel.

Robert Hanson
Reply to  Oldseadog
December 6, 2021 2:46 pm

Is the name of this ship the Hindenburg?

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Robert Hanson
December 7, 2021 1:05 am

If Japanese it would be Hindenberg Maru

Eda Rose-Lawson
December 6, 2021 10:47 am

At least one country is seeing the light. The Japanese government should be congratulated on accepting that the burning of coal offers no threat to the future of the planet and its human, animal and ecological life. All sensible people across the world should realise that we are still benefiting from man’s tremendous ingenuity over the past 250 years, and not on the bogus science we have listened to from self appointed global warming experts over the past 25 years; creating scaremongering forecasts of which none has yet come to fruition: silly people who are determined to lead the world economies back to the level of early Victorian times. Well done Japan, let us hope that your bold ignoring of the end of the world fanatics will lead to other nations to face up to the dangerous challenge that these people are presenting to the future of our civilisation, and open up their own coal burning power stations for the benefit of their people and country..

December 6, 2021 11:22 am

That just isn’t cricket.

A pox on Boris and Westminster

December 6, 2021 11:55 am

Look on the bright side.

The good news is that the Japanese will not have to build any pipelines across sacred lands to move the coal to the new power plants.

Reply to  Doonman
December 7, 2021 12:36 am

Coal usually goes on conveyors………

David S
December 6, 2021 11:57 am

Barring a miraculous new energy technology, the number of new coal fired plants will increase as soon as the lights start going out.

December 6, 2021 12:07 pm

I would love to meet with the Japanese Government and let them know what the Sidel Carbon Capture Utilization System can do to remove their CO2 emissions. These power plants can operate and emit less CO2 than a natural gas power plant.
The Sidel CCU System is not an expense like other carbon capture systems. It “Saves Money and Makes Money” by converting the captured CO2 into valuable, natural, salable by-products.Every ton of CO2 captured and removed becomes profit.

Reply to  Sid Abma
December 6, 2021 1:02 pm

I would love to meet with the Japanese Government and let them know what the Sidel Carbon Capture Utilization System can do to remove their CO2 emissions.

There is an old British miltrary expression that sums up exactly what the Sidel Carbon Capture Utilization System could do for the Japanese…

..the Square Root Of Sweet Fanny Adams.

Reply to  Leo Smith
December 6, 2021 1:57 pm

Or as such things used to be called in the IT industry –

Julian Flood
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 7, 2021 2:02 am

In the RAF we used to say ‘two thirds of five eighths of Fanny Adams,’

Or words to that effect.


Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Sid Abma
December 6, 2021 1:07 pm

We’ve missed your particular brand of insanity, Sid!

Bruce Cobb
December 6, 2021 12:30 pm

See that, coming from the coal plants? That is white carbon. Very unusual. It’s usually black, like the coal it comes from. But make no mistake; white carbon is just as bad as black carbon. Carbon is an equal opportunity sort.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
December 6, 2021 1:07 pm

That’s raaaaaciiissst!

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
December 6, 2021 3:44 pm

I remember in St Louis in the late 60s that Peabody Coal darkened the skies with their “black carbon”. One winter day as I walked out of Washington U med center the snow was covered with the stuff. Thankfully cleaned up now.

Reply to  Mac
December 7, 2021 4:07 am

Yes, we made things better.

Peta of Newark
December 6, 2021 1:16 pm

The notion of making Hydrogen, of whatever colour, from coal is complete madness
absolute insanity both thermodynamically and practically – every other way too

Do with the coal as was done, in the UK, prior to the arrival of Hi Speed Gas

Basically: cook the stuff to create ‘Town Gas’ with coke left over
The ‘town gas’ will contain the energy of the Hydrogen you were gonna make and be immeasurably more manageable

The left-over coke, if you didn’t wanna make steel with it, would again be much easier to manage/store than the CO2 coming off the Hydrogen process.
Just pile it up in a heap somewhere and it’ll still be there centuries later.
No need for drills wells capping monitoring management etc etc whatever

Much much much and impossibly better – take it out onto farmland and mix it into the soil/dirt.
It’ll behave exactly as Biochar does, providing a trap/store for minerals & trace elements but especially a habitat for bacteria – with the near infinite amount of goodness they bestow on dirt.
In fact, bacteria are dirt is bacteria is dirt is soil is dirt is bacteria is soil and ultimately is All Life On Earth

(on seriously wasted patches of dirt, it will change the weather, for the better, too)

Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 6, 2021 2:49 pm

According to considerable literature, coal generally contains, perhaps small but significant, concentrations of mercury, lead, and other toxic to humans materials. Would those not have significant detrimental effects upon the life of the soil and the the life of larger beings supported by it?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  AndyHce
December 6, 2021 9:44 pm

All depends on the processes included in the plant

Reply to  AndyHce
December 6, 2021 10:25 pm

And quite of Uranium and Thorium amongst others.
It’s why concrete made with fly ash is radioactive.

Try checking with a GM radiation counter next time you take off from Warsaw airport. The background is higher on the ground than until you reach abpve 10 000ft…

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  AndyHce
December 7, 2021 1:16 am

Also “Wright’s Coal Tar Soap” which was antibacterial and had a wonderful smell. Coal Tar was also used for Tarmac road surfaces. Creosote for wood preserving.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 7, 2021 1:50 am

You don’t even have to dig up the coal, you can turn it into gas by burning it in the seam underground.

December 6, 2021 1:47 pm

I can only agree with Japan’s solution (22 coal plants).

Thermal (coal and natural gas), hydro-electric and nuclear power are currently the only means to maintaining base load power to the electrical grid, coal as well as being the safest is affordable, reliable, non-polluting and abundant. The toxic issues of carbon combustion are solvable problems.

CO2 is not toxic, it is plant food, higher CO2 levels increase a plant’s root size and improve its water retention abilities, thus enabling greater crop yields to feed our super abundant population.  
The academic climate community are trumpeting their AGW hypothesis as a harbinger of global climate catastrophe. Forecasting doom in order to develop environmental policies that discourage fossil fuel use and encourage sustainability may be well intentioned but where is the supposed impartiality of the news media? The polar bears as a species are not threatened, they’ve survived the warmer climates of the past (they can swim) and their numbers are increasing.

Fostering a vibrant sense of hope is critical in educating our children, frightening them into inconsequential action in order to prevent an imagined and exaggerated apocalypse is irresponsible. They will have to deal with the real problems of man’s super abundant population.

Funding wind/solar and carbon capture/taxation will only increase energy prices and have no effect on climate change. The world’s supply of oil will eventually be in decline. The demand/supply forces of the market on prices will improve fossil fuel efficiency and stimulate the implementation of economically feasible energy solutions.

Habitat loss/encroachment and inefficient water/land use are fixable problems. Reducing the threat of nuclear weapons and improving human equity remain the greatest challenges.

December 6, 2021 4:03 pm

reality strikes
Japan like everywhere needs energy

Dave Fair
Reply to  John
December 6, 2021 4:22 pm

Dense, portable and reliable energy.

December 6, 2021 6:10 pm

I’m told that raising one’s middle finger into a vertical orientation in Japan refers (somehow) to one’s brother.

So, I guess that Japan is saying to the COP26 crowd… “We will do our part for the Climate, Brothers”.

John Endicott
Reply to  DocSiders
December 9, 2021 3:48 am

The middle finger itself refers to the brother in a finger family nursery rhyme, not as part of any hand jester.
The thumb is the “father finger”, otoosanyubi(お父さん指).
The index finger is the “mother finger”, okaasanyubi(お母さん指).
The middle finger is the “brother finger”, oniisanyubi (お兄さん指).
The ring finger is the “sister finger”, oneesanyubi (お姉さん指)
And the pinky is the “baby finger”, akachanyubi (赤ちゃん指).

There actually is no cultural significance to “raising one’s middle finger” (as in flipping the bird fashion) in Japan. Though the Japanese are well aware of the western meaning of the action, thanks to our movies and media.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Endicott
December 6, 2021 7:37 pm

Coal plants can be re-purpoaed to burn almost anything– trash LNG, methane (natural gas), tires, wood, people….

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Kip Hansen
December 6, 2021 9:43 pm

Majority of ours here in AB have been converted to gas, but the coals still sits there, hundreds of years worth, and one day we’ll convert the plants back.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Kip Hansen
December 7, 2021 7:22 am

Also eggs. These are often referred to as egg plants.

Ed Zuiderwijk
December 7, 2021 4:06 am

The idea simply does not occur to Rupert. He is psychologically incapable of grasping it. Conditioning in action. The idea that the Japonese know that man-made climate change is a nonsense and that burning coal or not doesn’t make one jot of a difference.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 7, 2021 4:56 am

Japan is pretty much a worst case country for renewable energy:

  • Relatively small, with a total land area about equal to the US state of Montana
  • Large population, leading to a high population density — about double China’s and 10 times that of the US.
  • Large Industrial economy (3rd largest in the world)
  • No fossil fuel resources

Japan is a large industrial economy fit into a relatively small densely-populated area and having to import almost everything needed to keep that economy running.

In addition to electricity, Japan is the world’s third largest steel producer (slightly ahead of the US), so they require coal to feed the blast furnaces apart from any other usage.

Renewable power (principally wind and solar) take up large amounts of land area for what they produce, and Japan is the world’s fifth largest electric user (following China, US, India and Russia).

Building a thermal power plant with a 40+ year service lifetime is above all else a bet on the long-term operating costs, which are dominated by fuel prices. Japan clearly believes that coal we be the more available and affordable fuel for decades to come.

Eda Rose-Lawson
December 9, 2021 10:52 am

The picture above the headline, which has so obviously been badly Photoshopped, shows power station cooling towers emitting steam from the generators being cooled before the pure water is returned to the local rivers. Steam from generators does not have any detrimental effect on the environment. .The picture therefore gives a wrong impression to many of wuwt readers. so might I suggest that it is removed or deleted from the otherwise excellent article..

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