The government estimates the power provided by renewable energy this year in Japan will attain 2,500 megawatts, the equivalent of two medium-sized nuclear reactors.
A quick Google will tell the reader that that is just a wee bit more than Oi 3 and 4’s nominal rating, but what is missing, of course, is a time element. That nuclear station can pump out 2 GW day in day out, but what does that 2,500 MW figure represent? The peak maximum, average per day, maximum rating for everything all added together, or what?
Next, Softbank’s Mr Son gushes:
“Ultimately, if you take the long view, renewable energy will have the cheapest power generation costs,” said Mr. Son, saying that a solar or wind power plant can pay off its set-up expenses within 20 years, and after that it has no resource costs.
Is that 20 year pay-off calculated including the feed-in tariff at current levels? Countries more into renewables than Japan (UK and Holland are two I recently read about) are busy cutting back their feed-in tariffs, and a look around the web suggests that solar panels have a life of 20 to 40 years, and wind turbines 20 to 30, and of course wind turbines in particular need ongoing maintenance, and Holland is finding that offshore turbines are quite expensive to service and maintain in the salty environment.
Finally, in a move designed to get the conspiracy theorists all a-lather, a thermal power station near Himeji croaks:
The campaign took on greater urgency on Monday when Kansai Electric Power, whose service area is being asked to cut usage by 15 percent, said they had suspended operation at a thermal power plant in Himeji, western Japan, because of a steam leakage.
News reports said it would take about 10 days before power generation at the plant could be brought back online, with the outage expected to raise estimated power demand in the region from 81 percent of capacity to 86 percent.