• Heatwave forces Japan to start up mothballed oil-fired power plants

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

The heatwave that has affected much of the world over the past month, with significantly higher average temperatures from London to Sydney, has led Japanese power generators to start up two mothballed oil-fired power plants to meet peaking electricity demand as air conditioning use soars. With most nuclear reactors still not operating after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan has limited options for power generation, leading to the use of the previously mothballed plants. Other plants have been run at higher-than-normal output to help cope with demand, even above their rated capacities, as electricity prices hit their highest ever level, at US$0.90/kWh (€0.77/kWh). The heatwave has led to more than 80 deaths and over a thousand hospitalisations throughout the country.