Japan: Nuclear Power Price Guarantees Possible

Posted by Joseph Keefe
Thursday, August 21, 2014

Japan will consider guaranteeing prices for electricity generated by nuclear plants to help the country's struggling utilities, which have lost about $35 billion in the three years since the Fukushima disaster saddled them with extra costs.

Japan's nuclear plants are in shutdown with no schedule for restarts after the meltdown at Fukushima in 2011, leading the country's utilities to turn to expensive fossil fuel imports.

But even if they can get their reactors running they face higher costs to meet new safety requirements just as the government is pushing through plans to allow more competition in the industry. They also face possible costs for decommissioning older units that are too costly to upgrade.

The move was floated by a trade ministry panel as an example of supporting the nuclear industry financially like Britain's "Contracts for Difference" scheme, which guarantees nuclear operators fixed rates for power.

The panel, which is in charge of making detailed policies in line with the government's basic energy plan, did not give a schedule for finalising the scheme.

Propping up nuclear power, promoted for decades by Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party as cheap, safe and reliable, is likely to be at odds with public sentiment which has turned against atomic energy since Fukushima.

If the market price of electricity falls below a pre-set level, consumers would pay the gap to the utilities, according to the British example discussed on Thursday at the panel.

On the other hand, should the market price rise above the pre-set price, operators would pay back the difference to protect the consumers from overpaying.

Japan in 2012 introduced so-called feed-in tariffs that guarantee higher prices for renewable energy, which sparked a wave of investments, particularly for solar power, but it still contributes to a fraction of electricity needs.

Utilities have been forced to increase fossil fuel imports, especially liquefied natural gas and coal, to generate electricity, paying about 3.6 trillion yen ($34.68 billion) extra every year since the crisis.

All of Japan's 48 nuclear reactors have been shut since last September. Two have received initial clearance to restart but are unlikely to be reactivated before next year.


Reporting by Kentaro Hamada
 

Maritime Reporter April 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Newport News Shipbuilding Hosts Sen. Inhofe

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) today hosted Sen. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., for a tour of the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division.   The senator,

Hempel CEO Jullien Plans Retirement

Pierre-Yves Jullien, CEO of Hempel A/S since 2005, has decided to retire after nearly 40 years in the Group. He will step down from his role as CEO on March 31, 2016 at the latest.

DNV GL Launches Singapore Service Center

DNV GL's new Singapore Service Center (SSC) will streamline customer support and enhance customers’ experiences by giving them a single point of contact for all operational issues.

Contracts

Vigor’s Tacoma Yard Delivers Breasting Barges to Foss

Vigor Industrial expands its newbuild capacity in Washington; Tacoma yard delivers three breasting barges   Fabrication teams at Vigor Industrial’s Tacoma, Wash.

Hands Across the Water

U.S. firms leverage Netherlands-based Damen Shipyard’s vessel designs and technical support. For nearly 40 years, Damen Shipyards Group in the Netherlands has

Icebreakers Ordered for Neft’s Novy Port Project

Aker Arctic’s icebreaker design selected for Gazprom Neft’s Novy Port project   Aker Arctic and Vyborg Shipyard have confirmed a contract for the design of two

Fuels & Lubes

Naval Authorities Rely on OSE Separators from GEA

The trend of modernizing ships and fitting them with more efficient separator systems, which has been noticeable since 2014 particularly in Europe and North America,

Spain Investigates Sinking off Canary Islands

Spain launched an investigation on Thursday into the sinking of a Russian ship off the Canary Islands, as coastguards battled a six-km (3.7-mile) oil slick close to tourist beaches.

Bomin Launches Bunker Operations in Copenhagen

The Bomin Group, a global physical supplier and trader of marine fuel oil, has announced that it is launching a physical operation in Copenhagen, Denmark.  The

News

Vigor’s Tacoma Yard Delivers Breasting Barges to Foss

Vigor Industrial expands its newbuild capacity in Washington; Tacoma yard delivers three breasting barges   Fabrication teams at Vigor Industrial’s Tacoma, Wash.

New Milling Disc from IN.MOTION

IN.MOTION Technology Distribution, LLC, announced the launch of a new milling disc designed for fast, efficient beveling, weld preparation and weld repair. According to the manufacturer,

Newport News Shipbuilding Hosts Sen. Inhofe

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) today hosted Sen. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., for a tour of the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division.   The senator,

People in the News

Newport News Shipbuilding Hosts Sen. Inhofe

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) today hosted Sen. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., for a tour of the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division.   The senator,

Hempel CEO Jullien Plans Retirement

Pierre-Yves Jullien, CEO of Hempel A/S since 2005, has decided to retire after nearly 40 years in the Group. He will step down from his role as CEO on March 31, 2016 at the latest.

Taylor to Chair NOIA Board

The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) Board of Directors has elected Cindy B. Taylor as Chair and Kevin McEvoy as Vice Chairman for the upcoming 2015-2016 term.

Government Update

Newport News Shipbuilding Hosts Sen. Inhofe

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) today hosted Sen. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., for a tour of the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division.   The senator,

Severn Trent De Nora's OMNIPURE Systems Get USCG Approval

The new OMNIPURE™ Series 55/64 marine sewage treatment systems from Severn Trent De Nora have received final certification from the United States Coast Guard

Migrant Crisis Intensifies with Murder Arrests, Drownings

Italian police arrested 15 African men suspected of throwing about a dozen Christians from a migrant boat in the Mediterranean on Thursday, as the crisis off southern Italy intensified.

Logistics

DNV GL Launches Singapore Service Center

DNV GL's new Singapore Service Center (SSC) will streamline customer support and enhance customers’ experiences by giving them a single point of contact for all operational issues.

MacGregor's Pusnes bow loading systems for Suezmax Tankers

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has secured contracts to supply Pusnes bow loading systems for three newbuild shuttle tankers intended for operations in Brazilian waters.

Steelhead Introduces a New Yacht Crane

Steelhead Marine, a North American crane manufacturer, has expanded its product offering with the launch of the new E Series 1000 crane. Suited for commercial and recreational vessels,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2122 sec (5 req/sec)