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