August 19, 2022

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Energy supplies at risk due to hot summer in Japan

Energy supplies at risk due to hot summer in Japan

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In March 2022, one of the thermal power plants was forced to suspend operations due to earthquake damage off the coast of Fukushima. As a result, Tokyo Electric Corporation and Tohoku Electric Corporation issued a supply shortage alert for the first time. As summer approaches, the government has urged households and businesses to save electricity.

Japan’s electricity production is declining as a result of the suspension of operations at nuclear power plants since the Great East Japan Earthquake and the shutdown of aging thermal power plants. Pending the summer, the Government of Japan has asked businesses and households to provide electricity within their means without affecting economic activities. This is the first time since 2015 that nationwide electricity provision has been claimed.

For a constant source of electricity, a reserve of at least 3% is required in relation to the demand for it. According to the electricity demand forecast from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, if in July 2022 temperatures rise to the levels that occur once every ten years, in the Tohoku, Tokyo and Chubu regions, there will be a reserve of only 3.1%, just slightly more than the minimum necessary . Hokuriku, Kansai, Chūgoku, Shikoku, and Kyūshu regions also do not have a rosy outlook, with a reserve of 3.8%.

If the balance between supply and demand for electricity is broken, large-scale blackouts may occur, causing problems for social and economic activities. To avoid this situation, the government asked people to use air conditioners in their homes at 28 degrees, without neglecting precautions to avoid heat stroke, and asked companies to provide electricity. In addition, it is considering resuming operations at suspended thermal power plants, among other measures.

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If this year’s winter is severe, national reserves will be further reduced. For the period from January to February 2023, the reserves will decrease to negative numbers in the area where the Tokyo Electric Company (TEPCO) operates, and in the Chubu, Hokuriku, Kansai, Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu regions, the reserves will not be up to 3%.

Banner photo: PIXTA.

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