Energy analysts forecast ‘the end of coal’ in Asia as Japanese investors back renewables

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Japanese banks and trading houses are walking away from coal investments, selling out of Australian mines and scrapping plans to build coal-fired power.

The most recent proposal likely to be shelved, a 1.3GW coal-fired power station in Akita, in Japan’s north-west coastal region, follows the cancellation of two others earlier this year. Sojitz Corporation this week announced further divestment from thermal coal, following Itochu announcing a coal exit last month, and Mitsui in November.

Kimiko Hirata, the international director of Japan’s Kiko Network, a climate action campaign group, said she had noticed a shift in sentiment among several big players in the Japanese business world. Hirata cautioned, however, that many of these financiers’ policy changes related to entirely new coal projects, not ones already in the pipeline. Kiko’s own figures show plans for a total of 15GW of coal-fired power remained active, with some plants under construction and due to start operating next year.

..coal-fired power in developing Asian countries required government underwriting to attract significant private financial investors. Such projects would be looking to JBIC, JICA and the Korean equivalent, the Export-Import Bank of Korea, which has also made significant recent moves into the renewables sector….

An excerpt from Guardian