Japan Revitalizes More Power Utilities to Avoid Rate Increases
Japan moved to re-invigorate another two unprofitable power firms after they posted billion dollar losses, underscoring how the idling of the nation’s atomic reactors have forced losses on most of the Japanese utility companies. Hokkaido Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co. will receive a combined 150 billion yen from the Development Bank of Japan, joining Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the wrecked Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant, on the list of utilities to receive government assistance. The investment comes as Japan seeks to forestall electricity rate increases that could negatively affect the country’s fragile economic recovery.
Tesla’s Gigafactory Moving Forward in Two States
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is reported ready to reveal the two finalists for the location of the coveted Gigafactory, and may even break ground at both sites. The location of the controversial battery factory had boiled down to just four states; Arizona, California, Nevada and New Mexico. But Musk has said that California will not work due to regulatory issues that would delay the project, and time is apparently a big issue-to the point where Musk is willing to break ground in two locations simultaneously. The sooner Tesla can bring battery production in house, the sooner it can move forward with its $35,000 Model E.
Ukraine Seeks Gas to Prepare for Winter Without Fuel from Russia
Spring has barely begun in Ukraine and the nation is already looking ahead on how to handle winter’s chill without Russian fuel. The government is desperate to make sure that there will be enough natural gas to keep factories running and to heat homes throughout Ukraine’s long winter – a dire task for a nation that depends on Russia for half of its gas consumption. Ukraine is now sifting through its options which run from developing shale gas fields to building an import hub on the Black Sea. In the coming months, the European Union will be the only place where Ukraine can get gas should Russia cut off supplies.
Obama Pollution Rule Upheld by Top U.S. Court
President Obama was victorious in his effort to clean up coal-fired power plants as the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a rule designed to reduce pollutants that cause smog and acid rain. Advocates for utilities and coal producers argued that the EPA’s mandates were too intrusive and forces plants to clean-up more pollution than necessary to deliver cleaner air to downwind states. The Supreme Court justices voted 6-2 in favor of the EPA mandate. The Obama administration says that the rule will prevent as many as 34,000 premature deaths annually.
Tags: atomic power plants, Development Bank of Japan, electricity generation, electricity rate increase, Fukusima, Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Japan, Kyushu Electric Power Co., nuclear reactors, TEPCO