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Japan pours money into coal fired generation

Mark Meyrick's picture
Head of Trading & Smart Grids Ecotricity

Experienced trader and trading manager in the energy and carbon markets now developing an intelligent and fit for purpose Virtual Power Plant aggregation proposition for Ecotricity. Previously...

  • Member since 2021
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  • Jan 8, 2021

Oh dear...anyone remember the scheme Japan mooted to replace the Clean Development Mechanism, the Bilateral Offset Crediting Mechanism - which was all about exporting Japanese equipment and very little about real additional emissions reductions?
Well here you can see the policy stripped bare, with the Japanese Bank for International Co-operation pumping $636 million into Vietnamese coal fired generation. Their strapline is 'Supporting your Global Challenges'. Well meaninglessness aside, they certainly aren't supporting mine, the main one of which IS climate change.
Very, very disappointing



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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jan 8, 2021

Thanks for sharing, Mark-- do you have any recommendations for background reading on the Japanes Bank for International Co-operation and these types of actions? Is this more of the same, or is this a pattern? 

Mark Meyrick's picture
Mark Meyrick on Jan 16, 2021

I'm not a particular Japan watcher Matt, so 'no' I don't. What I would observe though is Japan's dealings with the developing world don't always bear scrutiny. They persuaded a lot of landlocked African countries to sign up to the IWC and align themselves with Japanese voting in return for aid.

Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Jan 11, 2021

Mark, This information is very scary. How can anyone be investing is such destructive and costly energy when Renewables are the lowest cost and cleanest? I just can't imagine what their goal is. Japan makes some of the best Solar Panels in the world.  What do you think their objective is ?

Henry Craver's picture
Henry Craver on Jan 15, 2021

Will the infrastructure be built with Japanese technology? Also, is it in the interest of Japanese companies for Vietnam to have a stronger power structure so they can manufacture more products there? I'm not sure, those are just two reasons that came to mind. 

Mark Meyrick's picture
Mark Meyrick on Jan 16, 2021

For Japan it's all about exports - regardless of Japan's Kyoto (ironic!) commitments, as I mentioned with the Bilateral Offset Crediting Mechanism. You were only eligible for those credits IF your project used Japanese kit

Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Jan 18, 2021

Green energy is not able to supply all the electrical needs of a country. Simple fact.

Pretty arrogant to condemn developing and poor countries to continued poverty because coal may be the only fuel resource they can afford.

Mark Meyrick's picture
Mark Meyrick on Jan 19, 2021

I don't think it's arrogant top condemn Japan for paying lipservice to their climate commitments Michael. Furthermore, there is about 12 GW of hydro capacity potential in Vietnam yet to be developed. Plus the fact that Vietnamese coal has to be imported - how affordable is that, compared to using one's own resources? However, simply arguing that a country needs power and it's OK to use any polluting fossil fuel that's available is NOT going to solve the climate crisis - always assuming you believe in it, that is

Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Jan 20, 2021

Alleged climate crisis, which conveniently is a theory that cannot be proved.

To thrive, countries need reliable as well as reasonably priced energy and if possible, using their own energy supplies. Barring that, at least they need access to dependable, reasonably priced resources. In the case of Vietnam, that is coal.

Hydroelectric power can ecologically devastate rivers and needs to be wisely used. Renewable alone cannot meet all the needs of Vietnam, or any nation for that matter.

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