Coal 'good for humanity,' Australia's Abbott says

The Sydney Morning Herald

Speaking at a new mine opening, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott praised coal as "good for humanity" and touted increasing trade with Japan in a potential rebuke of new Chinese tariffs on coal imports, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Japan having troubles integrating renewables into the grid


Half of Japan’s electricity utilities are halting new renewable energy projects coming online because of strains they place on the country’s fragmented grid system, E&E reports.

Japan making progress toward zero energy buildings

The Wall Street Journal

The Japanese goal – to make all public buildings zero energy by 2020 with private buildings following in the decade after that – isn’t unrealistic, an analyst told The Wall Street Journal, which reports that Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. hopes to put side solar panels into mass production next year.

Fukushima manager: No staff criticism, but complaints about ‘idiotic’ politicians

The Wall Street Journal

The Japanese government on Thursday released a full transcript of testimony from officials who spoke about the disaster at the Fukushima dai-ichi nuclear plant, in which the late facility manager Masao Yoshida had no problems with his staff response but complained about “idiotic politicians,” The Wall Street Journal reports.

Nuke plant in southern Japan clears safety hurdle

TOKYO (AP) — A nuclear power plant in southern Japan won regulators' approval Wednesday for meeting safety requirements imposed after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, a key step toward becoming the first to restart under the tighter rules.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority formally approved an inspection report for the Sendai Nuclear Power Station's two reactors. The authority concluded that the reactors were in compliance with new regulations designed to avoid major damage during disasters such as the massive earthquake and tsunami that caused meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.

Toyota affiliate starts building hydrogen station in Japan

The Wall Street Journal

Ahead of Toyota’s intended launch next year of a hydrogen fuel cell-powered car, an affiliate of the company has started construction on a hydrogen filling station in Nagoya, Japan, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Panel wants TEPCO execs charged over nuke crisis

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese judicial panel has recommended that three former executives of the utility that operates the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant face criminal charges over their role in the disaster.

A document released by the panel showed it voted in favor of indicting Tsunehisa Katsumata, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Co. at the time of the crisis, along with two other executives.

Japan record $75B trade deficit in 1st half; LNG, oil imports increase

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's trade deficit surged to a record 7.6 trillion yen ($74.9 billion) in the first half of the year as exports failed to keep pace with surging imports, the Finance Ministry reported Thursday.

Japan's bulging import bill was partly due to a jump in demand as businesses and consumers stepped up purchases ahead of an April 1 increase in the sales tax to 8 percent from 5 percent.

Imports for the six months jumped 10 percent to 42.6 trillion yen ($420 billion) while exports rose 3.2 percent to 35.1 trillion yen ($346 billion), the preliminary data show.

After hybrid success, Toyota gambles on fuel cell

TOKYO (AP) — Rocket science long dismissed as too impractical and expensive for everyday cars is getting a push into the mainstream by Toyota, the world's top-selling automaker.

Buoyed by its success with electric-gasoline hybrid vehicles, Toyota is betting that drivers will embrace hydrogen fuel cells, an even cleaner technology that runs on the energy created by an electrochemical reaction when oxygen in the air combines with hydrogen stored as fuel.

Japan moves to restart 2 reactors won't do much for LNG prices: Analysts


Japan's move to declare two nuclear plants safe to resume operations likely won't do much to lower liquefied natural gas prices, market analysts say, because there's little indication that the nation's 46 other nuclear generators will come close to restarting this year, Bloomberg reports.


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