Japan shifting from nuclear to more coal power and Southern USA shifts to more natural gas, nuclear and renewables and less coal

Japan replacing Fukushima nuclear power with coal power not solar power or wind power

Tokyo Electric Power Co will tie up with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corp and Mitsubishi Electric to build integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) stations.

Mitsubishi group companies will have a majority of stake in the new plants while cash-strapped Tepco will be in charge of running the facilities, which they plan to put online around 2020.

The new IGCC technology, which will increase power output by 20 percent from conventional coal power plants, using the same amount of fuel.

Three nuclear reactors suffered core meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant north of Tokyo after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Tennessee Valley Authority Shifing to more Natural gas and Nuclear Energy and less Coal Power

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) will retire more than 3 GW at eight coal units in Alabama and Kentucky to address “challenging trends” that point to lower power demand, a slow economy, uncertainty in commodity pricing, and tougher air pollution rules.

About 43% of the TVA’s power was generated from coal in fiscal year 2013, by 10 coal plants consisting of 46 active units with a capacity of 12,901 MW. After the planned retirements take place, the TVA expects to have 9,098 MW of coal-fired generation, a steep drop from the 14,573 it had in September 2010.

In fiscal year 2013, 36% of the TVA’s power came from nuclear, 12% came from hydro, 9% came from gas and oil, and less than 1% came from non-hydro renewable resources. According to board documents, the company anticipates that its future generation mix will comprise 40% nuclear, 20% coal, 20% gas, and 20% hydro and other renewables.

The TVA’s second reactor at Watts Bar, which is under construction in Spring City, Tenn., is about 80% complete, board documents showed, and it is on track for commercial operation by December 2015 with a completion cost of between $4 billion and $4.2 billion. Meanwhile, work at its Bellefonte Unit 1 has “slowed” to “better allocate resources on nearer-term priorities as both budget and staffing levels for the project have been reduced in the 2014 budget.” The TVA is also seeking a license renewal for both units at the Sequoyah nuclear plant.

The U.S. corporate agency’s board of directors on Nov. 14 approved plans to retire all five coal units at the Colbert plant in Alabama, one of two units at the Widows Creek coal plant in Alabama, and the 628-MW Units 1 and 602-MW Unit 2 at the Paradise coal plant in Kentucky. The board also approved construction of a $1.12 billion natural gas–fired power plant at its Paradise plant.

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