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Electricity Japan's energy sector Natural Gas, LNG

Japan nuclear free since Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, when the last reaction was switched off. Restart unclear.

Japan went 100% nuclear free since Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. When nuclear reactors will be restarted is totally unclear.

Kansai Electric Power (KEPCO) on Sunday Sept 15, 2013 at 16:40 started to reduce power output of Japan’s last remaining active nuclear power reactor (Oi No. 4 reactor), and stopped operations of this reactor on Monday Sept 16, 2013 morning.

Since Monday September 16, 2013 Japan is nuclear free, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. It is unclear currently, when and if nuclear power will be restarted again in Japan.

Japan is strongly polarized over nuclear power

The reason Japan is currently nuclear free is not a policy decision by the Government of Japan or the Prime-Minister, the reason is mainly technical and a consequence of Japanese local politics:

Japan’s nuclear reactors are stopped every 13 months for checks, cannot be restarted in the current political and legal climate

Japan’s nuclear reactors are switched off for routine maintenance and security checks once every 13 months. In order to restart each reactor after this periodic maintenance both Japan’s nuclear safety agency, and also “the local community” have to give their formal agreements. Before the Fukushima disaster, both these two agreements were a formality and given quickly. Since the Fukushima disaster however, the approval by the newly formed Nuclear Safety Agency has been a far higher barrier to overcome.

However, more importantly, it has turned out that “the local community” who’s approval is also necessary is in some cases not well defined. Therefore many community authorities which in the past did not raise their voices, now join in the decision making process. In addition, some regional administrative leaders, such as the Governor of Niigata-ken, have expressed their very strong distrust in current management of nuclear power stations, and are refusing to give their agreement, without which the restart of nuclear power stations within the Prefecture they govern is impossible.

Nuclear power is mainly replaced by LNG

For the time being, nuclear power is replaced predominantly by electricity generation from Liquid Natural Gas (LNG). As a consequence Japan’s payments for LNG are at an all-time high.

You will find detailed statistics and analysis of Japan’s electricity and energy situation in our report on Japan’s Energy Sector.

Japan's last operating nuclear power station was switched off on Monday Sept 16, 2013.
Japan’s last operating nuclear power station was switched off on Monday Sept 16, 2013. source: https://www.eurotechnology.com/store/j_energy/

Japan’s last operating nuclear reactor (No. 4 reactor at KEPCO’s Oi plant) was switched off on Monday, Sept 16, 2013. Since then Japan is nuclear free. It is unclear when nuclear power plants will be operated again in Japan.

Read detailed analysis in our report on Japan’s energy sector:

Copyright 2013 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

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Japan's energy sector Natural Gas, LNG

Japan LNG import costs increase 77.5% from 2011-2013

Japan LNG import costs – we analyze Japan’s official LNG import data

Japan LNG import costs increase 77.5% from 2011-2013

Here we analyze Japan’s liquid natural gas (LNG) costs, which have been driven to record heights – mainly by the very high LNG prices Japan has to pay, and driven even higher by the low YEN exchange rates. If you are interested in precise numerical analysis: you can find detailed graphics and analysis in our Japan-Energy report, based on import data direct from Japan’s Ministry of Finance.

Japan LNG import cost reduction strategies

To reduce Japan’s extremely high payments for energy, Japan’s Government is following several strategies: Japan’s Government seeks to reduce LNG prices by developing new LNG sources, increase coal usage, increase development of renewable energy sources – and work towards restarting nuclear power plants.

Solar projects dominate renewable energy development for now. Our company currently alone is working with a number of clients on a pipeline of about 50 solar projects with a total of approx. 950 MegaWatt – and growing.

If you have questions about Japan’s energy markets – contact us here:

For insights into why Japan’s energy situation has come to where it is today, download the handouts of our talk “Japan’s Energy – Myths vs Reality”, given at the Embassy of Sweden in Tokyo (Alfred Nobel Auditorium) in cooperation with Stockholm School of Economics on June 19.

Liquified gas import costs increased 77.5%

Japan LNG imports: Japan's monthly payments for LNG imports increased 77.5% from 2011 to 2013
Japan’s monthly payments for LNG imports increased 77.5% from 2011 to 2013. Source: https://www.eurotechnology.com/store/j_energy/

Nuclear power has been replaced largely by electricity produced from imported LNG. Japan’s payments for LNG have dramatically increased. We have analyzed Japan’s official data, and found that the increase is mainly due to increased prices and exchange rate, and much less due to increased volumes.

Japan pays higher LNG prices than at the 2008 peak

Japan LNG imports: Japan pays higher LNG prices today than at the peak in September 2008
Japan pays higher LNG prices today than at the peak in September 2008. Source: https://www.eurotechnology.com/store/j_energy/

Japan pays very much higher prices for LNG than Europe or US. The LNG prices Japan pays today are about twice as high as during the slump following the Lehman shock, and are higher than at the peak just before the Lehman bankruptcy in September 2008.

Japan’s liquified gas imports have increased 23%

Japan LNG imports: LNG import volumes currently are about 23% higher than before March 11, 2011
LNG import volumes currently are about 23% higher than before March 11, 2011. Source: https://www.eurotechnology.com/store/j_energy/

Due to intensive electricity saving measures, LNG imports have actually increased far less than would be necessary to replace all switched off nuclear power. Today’s LNG import volumes by weight are only about 23% higher then before the March 11, 2011 crisis, while costs are about 77.5% higher.

This shows that Japan’s extremely high payments for LNG imports are much more caused by high prices than by increased import volumes. Therefore Japan’s Governments and private industry strategies to decrease LNG prices for Japan are the way to go for the short term.

Longterm of course, it is necessary to rebuild Japan’s energy architecture, which has been created in 1952 under orders from McArthur’s military Government, and has been essentially frozen in since 1952. Attempts to liberalize Japan’s energy markets, including electricity, have been largely ineffective.

Another approach to liberalization is currently on its way – as described in our detailed report and analysis of Japan’s energy markets

Copyright (c) 2013 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Categories
Electricity Japan's energy sector Natural Gas, LNG Renewable energy

Japan energy – myths versus reality, mantra versus smart

A lecture a the Embassy of Sweden for the Stockholm School of Economics

European Institute for Japanese Studies EIJS

Gerhard Fasol "Japan energy - myths versus reality, mantra versus smart" Embassy of Sweden
Gerhard Fasol “Japan energy – myths versus reality, mantra versus smart” Embassy of Sweden

Outline of the lecture:

  • Energy and DNA
  • Energy and Physics, why you need to understand physics to understand energy
  • Ludwig Boltzmann’s tools and laws to work with energy
  • Myth versus reality, mantra versus smart – psychology of judgment and decision making
  • Parliamentary commission results: “regulatory capture” caused the Fukushima nuclear accident
  • History: Japan’s energy architecture frozen since 1952
  • Primary energy: 96% imported
  • Why Japan pays so much for LNG
  • Electricity architecture and liberalization
  • renewable energy
  • Future: where do we go from here?

Thank you to all those who attended the event “Japan’s energy – myths vs reality” at the Embassy of Sweden – an event organized by the European Institute for Japanese Studies of the Stockholm School of Economics.

We had about 120 registrations for 100 seats in the Alfred Nobel Auditorium of the Embassy of Sweden – participants included an official from Japan’s Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office, Officials from several Embassies including the Swedish, US, Norwegian, Swiss, Hungarian and more Embassy, executives from Japanese and European telecom and energy companies, including also several independent power producers (IPPs), legal professionals, and groups of students and MBA students from Tokyo University, Hitotsubashi University and others.

We had very vivid discussion, and continued the discussions over nijikai.

Detailed data, statistics and analysis of Japan’s energy markets:

All the data of the talk are from our reports on Japan’s energy sector:

Japan’s energy market report:

Renewable energy Japan – research report

Copyright 2013 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Categories
Japan's energy sector Natural Gas, LNG

Japan gas imports: +77.5% from Jan ’11 to Jan ’13 – all-out efforts to reduce energy costs

Japan replaced almost all nuclear energy with liquid natural gas imports

Increased LNG import costs due to declining yen

Japan gas imports: Japan replaced almost all nuclear energy with liquid natural gas imports at very short notice. Japan pays far higher costs for liquid natural gas imports than most other regions in the world (find a detailed explanation why this is so, and how Japan’s LNG import prices are composed, in our J-Energy report). ‘Abenomics’ (Prime Minister Abe’s economy policy package) have increased the costs of imports further due a decline in the value of the yen.

Consequently, Japan makes all out efforts to find the optimal energy mix, in particular searching for domestic sources of energy including renewables, and reducing the cost of imports. More below.

Detailed energy import data, including detailed analysis why Japan’s LNG import costs are so much higher than elsewhere, in our report on Japan’s Energy Landscape.

Japan gas imports: 77.5% cost increase since January 2011

Reason for this increase are increased import quantities, the very high prices Japan is forced to pay for gas imports, and the decrease of the value of the YEN due to ‘Abenomics’. These very high costs drive all-out efforts to secure new sources of natural gas to reduce costs, and also drive the sofar neglected development of renewable energy sources in Japan.

Japan's gas import costs increased by 77.5% from Jan '11 to Jan '13
Japan’s gas import costs increased by 77.5% from Jan ’11 to Jan ’13. Source: https://www.eurotechnology.com/store/j_energy/

Primary energy imports are a very substantial part (about 7% currently) of Japan’s GNP, and have increased by 34% in January 2013 compared to January 2011

However, the figure above shows that current monthly costs of primary energy imports are below the peak just before the Lehman shock. Thus Japan’s primary energy costs are currently very substantial but not without precedent.
Detailed energy import data, including detailed analysis why Japan’s LNG import costs are so much higher than elsewhere, in our report on Japan’s Energy Landscape

Japan's primary energy import costs increased by 34% from Jan '11 to Jan '13
Japan’s primary energy import costs increased by 34% from Jan ’11 to Jan ’13. Source: https://www.eurotechnology.com/store/j_energy/

Descent into crisis of Japan’s electricity operators started in 2007:

Figure above clearly shows that the decent of Japan’s electricity operators started years before the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Therefore we conclude that restarting the nuclear reactors alone will not cure the crisis of Japan’s electricity operators, which for many years have enjoyed a monopoly position, and are now increasingly under attack by competitors including Japan’s very successful gas companies.
We added approx. 50 pages analysis of Japan’s gas sector to our Japan-Energy-Report.

Copyright 2013 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Categories
Electricity Japan's energy sector Natural Gas, LNG

Japan’s successful and growing gas companies

Liberalization leads to increasing competition and partnerships between Japan’s regional electricity and gas companies

Japan gas companies grow at an annual rate of 4.1% and show steady income

Japan gas companies grow at an annual rate of 4.1% and show steady income, and have developed into serious competitors for Japan’s electricity operators, while also cooperating in electricity generation.

We have added 50 pages coverage of Japan’s very successful gas sector to our Japan-Energy-Report.

Gas companies show healthy income. Electricity operators report increasing losses
Gas companies show healthy income. Electricity operators report increasing losses. Source https://www.eurotechnology.com/store/j_energy/

Japan’s gas companies are profitable and grow while electricity operators’ revenues stagnate and descend into losses:

We compared Japan’s gas sector with Japan’s electricity operator sector:

  • Japan big-4 gas companies’ revenues grew 4.1% per y
Japan gas companies grow at an annual rate of 4.1% and show steady income. Increasing competition and cooperation between electricity and gas companies
Japan gas companies grow at an annual rate of 4.1% and show steady income. Increasing competition and cooperation between electricity and gas companies. Source: https://www.eurotechnology.com/store/j_energy/

ear for the last 12 years, while reporting stable income.

  • Japan’s 10 regional electricity operators show stagnating revenues, while descending into deep losses.
  • Japan’s gas companies develop into competitors for the regional electricity operators

    Electricity operator's descent towards losses started in 2007, well before the Fukushima nuclear disaster
    Electricity operator’s descent towards losses started in 2007, well before the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Source https://www.eurotechnology.com/store/j_energy/

    Descent into crisis of Japan’s electricity operators started in 2007:
    Figure above clearly shows that the decent of Japan’s electricity operators started years before the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Therefore we conclude that restarting the nuclear reactors alone will not cure the crisis of Japan’s electricity operators, which for many years have enjoyed a monopoly position, and are now increasingly under attack by competitors including Japan’s very successful gas companies.
    We added approx. 50 pages analysis of Japan’s gas sector to our Japan-Energy-Report.

    Copyright 2013 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

    Categories
    Natural Gas, LNG

    Japan natural gas import costs sky rocket

    Japan switched 30% of total electricity generation from nuclear to LNG

    Japan natural gas import replaces all nuclear energy

    Japan switched about 30% of electricity capacity from nuclear to mainly natural gas powered thermal power stations within 13 months. We have analyzed Japan’s natural gas imports, which have skyrocketed to almost 2% of Japan’s GDP. Graphics and more details below in this newsletter. Find detailed analysis of Japan’s oil, coal and gas imports in report on Japan’s Electricity and Energy Landscape.

    Japan's natural gas imports skyrocket
    Japan’s natural gas imports skyrocket

    Natural Gas (LPG and LNG) imports skyrocket to 2% of GDP

    Since Financial Year 2010 (ended on March 31, 2011, a few days after the March 11 disaster) Japan’s natural gas imports have skyrocketed to almost 2% of GDP – while gas imports were around 0.5% or below of GDP until 2003.

    There are two reasons for Japan’s skyrocketing payments for LNG imports

    1. increased import volumes to replace nuclear energy by LNG fired thermal power stations, and
    2. a “Japan premium” on the LNG prices, Japan has to pay above world market prices because of Japan’s special situation, and relatively weak bargaining position.
      Japan is of course under big financial pressure to reduce the payments for LNG imports.

    Our report on Japan’s energy sector includes detailed analysis of Japan’s oil, gas and coal imports, and many other data on Japan’s energy and electricity sector, which we continuously update.

    Copyright·©2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

    Categories
    Electricity Natural Gas, LNG

    Japan’s electricity industry suffers huge losses from nuclear to fossil switch

    What is the financial impact of Japan’s switch from nuclear to fossil on Japan’s electricity industry?

    Japan’s electricity operators switched from profits to huge losses

    What is the financial impact of Japan’s switch from nuclear to fossil on Japan’s electricity industry?
    Answer: Japan’s electricity operators switched from about US$ 10 billion/year combined net profits to US$ 20 billion/year losses – far more dramatic than the impact of the Lehman shock. – Selected graphics below in this blog, and detailed analysis in our report on Japan’s electricity and energy industry.

    annual net income of Japan's electricity operators
    annual net income of Japan’s electricity operators

    Electricity operator losses may drive innovation

    Losses are caused by high costs of fossil fuels and additional generation capacity brought online, and drive innovation, by forcing operators to look for new solutions to time-shift demand such as smart grids, and smart meters.

    net margins of Japan's electricity operators
    net margins of Japan’s electricity operators

    Electricity sales revenues were affected much more by the Lehman shock than by switching from nuclear to fossil
    The figure below shows combined sales revenues of Japan’s 10 regional electricity operators. Sales were strongly affected by the industrial downturn after the Lehman shock in September 2009, and have recovered since. There is no strong effect of the Fukushima disaster and nuclear -> fossil switch on electricity sales:

    US$ 200 Billion/year = combined annual income of Japan's electricity operators
    US$ 200 Billion/year = combined annual income of Japan’s electricity operators

    Because Japan’s electricity operators have monopoly status in their regions, their financials are mainly affected by the economic status of their regions. All were affected dramatically on the sales side by the Lehman shock. This figure also shows that Japan’s electricity industry has been very static for many years. Japan’s Governments recent energy strategy provides for liberalization – executing this strategy will be the challenge.

    More in our report on Japan’s electricity sector.

    Copyright·©2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

    Categories
    Electricity Fukushima Daiichi Japan's energy sector Natural Gas, LNG nuclear Renewable energy

    Japan’s energy foxtrot: Two steps forward one step back

    Two steps forward one step back:

    describes a frog struggling to climb out of a well, slipping back one step on the ladder for each two steps upwards out of the well

    Before the Fukushima disaster, Japan’s energy policy, strategy and execution were essentially decided behind closed doors by a small group of (about 100) Japanese people, and while European countries, Canada, USA experimented with electricity liberalization, Japan’s electricity industry structure went unchanged for a very very long time with a rigid top-down structure. However with the Fukushima disaster, Japan’s energy landscape has been brought onto the world stage, catching global attention for the first time.

    Two steps forward (actually much more than two steps): Last Friday, September 14, 2012, Japan’s Cabinet released Japan’s new “Innovative Energy and Environmental Strategy”. We have analyzed the full Japanese text of this strategy paper, and you can find a summary on pages 5-23 in our “Japan Electrical Energy Landscape” report.

    Most English language press reports focus only on the first few pages which describe a plan to phase out nuclear energy in Japan over the next 30-40 years. However this Government paper contains many other policy measures to reform Japan’s electricity industry and to completely change the principles of Japan’s energy landscape – steps which are long overdue, and where Japan has fallen behind most other advanced countries, because pre-Fukushima, Japan’s electricity industry was functioning “too well” – although at very elevated prices (for detailed analysis, read our report).

    The strategy plan announced on September 14, 2012 has not yet created any irreversible facts – although two irreversible facts could soon be implemented: the Government announced a few days ago, that 3 nuclear power reactors should be decommissioned under the new 40-year-limit-rule, Tsuruga’s No 1 reactor (started March 1970), and Mihama’s No. 1 (started Nov 1970) and No. 2 reactors (started July 1972).

    One step back: Sept. 19, the Cabinet released a “Kakugikettei” (Cabinet Decision) which is 4 and 1/2 lines long, which says:

    We will carry out our energy and environmental policy based on the “Innovative Energy and Environmental Strategy” as decided by the Energy and Environment Council on Sept 14, however we will hold responsible discussions with concerned self-governing regional bodies of Japan and with concerned international organizations, and we will continuously and flexibly verify and adjust our policy. (Kakugikettei, Cabinet decision of Sept 19, 2012, our unofficial translation from bureaucratic official complex Japanese into simplified English, attempting to keep the same meaning).

    Note, that this “step back” is not uniquely Japanese: Sweden decided in the 1980s to go zero-nuclear with a Parliament approved schedule, and Sweden’s parliament reversed the earlier zero-nuclear decision, and went back to continue nuclear power in 2010 and renewing or building new nuclear power stations.

    Subscribe to our report on Japan’s energy sector and receive regular updates.

    Copyright (c) 2013 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

    Categories
    Electricity Japan's energy sector Natural Gas, LNG Renewable energy

    Japan’s new energy strategy: much more than nuclear exit

    Japan’s Cabinet released Japan’s new “Innovative Energy and Environmental Strategy”

    Japan’s new energy strategy

    Last Friday, September 14, 2012, Japan’s Cabinet released Japan’s new “Innovative Energy and Environmental Strategy”, which the Cabinet is required to produce by law, and which actually contains much more than the plan to work towards a future nuclear power free society.

    We have analyzed the full official “Innovative Energy and Environmental Strategy” in the original Japanese version, and we have prepared a 19 page English language summary which you can find on pages 5-23 of our “Japan Electrical Energy Landscape” report

    Most English language press reports have focused on the three principles to work towards a nuclear free society

    1. strictly limit the operation of nuclear power plants to 40 years age
    2. restart those nuclear power plants, where the safety has been assured by the Nuclear Safety Commission
    3. no new construction or expansion of nuclear power stations

    These principles – if maintained – may lead to the last nuclear power station in Japan to be switched off around 2052, ie about 40 years from now.

    However, Japan’s new energy strategy framework paper contains much more

    • five policy packages concerning: the nuclear fuel cycle, human resources and technology development, cooperation with the global community, regional measures, the nuclear industry system and system for compensation of damages
    • measures for reducing electricity and energy consumption with targets until 2030 for two different economic growth scenarios
    • measures for promoting investment in renewable energy, with renewable energy generation targets until 2030
    • targets for electricity cogeneration until 2030
    • electricity power system reform, including unbundling of generation, transport and retail with the promotion of vibrant electricity markets
    • opening, strengthening and neutral electricity grid network, fair and accessible to all electricity producers
    • and most of all, a planned transition from passive electricity bill paying consumers to aware and active market participants who as much as possible generate their own electricity, and who instead of paying electricity bills, earn money from electricity they generate

    In particular, the strategy plan states explicitly:

    “…. it is indispensable, that electricity grid networks can be used by anyone, and to have competitive electricity markets”.

    When trying to predict the far future, whether Japan will actually go completely non-nuclear or not, keep in mind that Sweden has decided to go non-nuclear in the 1980s, and has reversed this decision around 2010.

    Currently only two of Japan’s remaining 50 nuclear reactors are in operation. It will be interesting to see if and when the safety of additional reactors are approved, and how rapidly the announcement dramatic deregulation and structural reform of Japan’s electricity system will be implemented, and how much of the announced policy steps might be reversed – or accelerated – by future Governments.

    The strategy plan announced on September 14, 2012 has not yet created any irreversible facts.
    Subscribe to our report series on Japan’s electricity industry landscape and our report on renewable energy in Japan.

    Copyright·©2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

    Categories
    Electricity Japan's energy sector Natural Gas, LNG Renewable energy

    Joe Oliver: Briefing the Minister for Energy and Natural Resources of Canada

    Joe Oliver, Minister for Energy and Natural Resources of Canada

    Was asked today to be one of a group of about 5 Japanese experts to brief the Minister for Energy and Natural Resources of Canada, Mr Joe Oliver. We were asked to keep the conversation off-the-record, so I can’t write about the meeting.

    Minister Oliver visited Japan leading a delegation of about 100 Canadian Energy sector leaders, CEOs, Government Officials, and the confidential briefing and discussion about Japan’s energy sector among a small group of about 5 Japanese experts, the Ambassador and Minister Oliver, was followed by a large lunch with about 100 Japanese and Canadian energy leaders and CEOs.

    Presentation was based on our report on Japan’s energy sector:

    Japan energy market report:

    Mr Joe Oliver photograph image credits:  Author: Rocco Rossi  Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Joe_Oliver.JPG  License: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
    Mr Joe Oliver photograph image credits: Author: Rocco Rossi Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Joe_Oliver.JPG License: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

    Image credits

    Mr Joe Oliver photograph image credits:
    Author: Rocco Rossi
    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Joe_Oliver.JPG
    License: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
    You are free:
    to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
    to remix – to adapt the work
    Under the following conditions:
    attribution – You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).
    see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Joe_Oliver.JPG

    Categories
    Electricity Japan's energy sector Natural Gas, LNG Renewable energy

    Japan energy dilemma

    Japanese law requires the government to have an energy strategy plan in place

    Keep nuclear power off – or restart nuclear?

    Japan’s current energy strategy plan provides for nuclear power to provide 30% of the electricity, rising to 50% in a few years by building additional nuclear power stations.

    However, contrary to the current strategy plan the figure below shows, that Japan essentially switched off all nuclear power over the last year, with 2 exceptions.

    A new energy strategy plan is delayed, but could be announced in the next few days. The Cabinet is in a dilemma to decide between the interests of the pro-nuclear business association Keidanren and the pro-nuclear electrical industry and considerable anti-nuclear movements in the general (voting) population.

    One major problem is that Japan’s energy architecture and electricity industry is regulated by laws and regulations established in 1952. Essentially, Japan’s energy and electricity architecture has been frozen in 1952, and has not been changed until the Fukushima nuclear accident now forces change. The contribution of “new” renewable energy to Japan’s energy mix is so minute (except for water power), that it would be too small to be seen on the figures below. Our Japan-Energy report explains the major issues facing Japan’s energy architecture and its structure.

    Japan’s energy peak is in summer (because energy consumption in Japan for air conditioning in summer is higher than for heating in winter), there were no black-outs, or brown-outs – how did Japan manage successfully despite the sudden unplanned exit from nuclear power? Read below…

    How did Japan cope with the sudden exit from nuclear power?

    After the Fukushima nuclear disaster Japan effectively stopped nuclear power generation. There are no black-outs - how could Japan manage?
    After the Fukushima nuclear disaster Japan effectively stopped nuclear power generation. There are no black-outs – how could Japan manage?

    Japan's survived by reducing summer peaks, and by increasing traditional caloric power production
    Japan’s survived by reducing summer peaks, and by increasing traditional caloric power production

    How did Japan cope with the sudden shut-down of nuclear power?

    Japan’s peak power consumption is in summer, all nuclear power (with 2 exceptions) was switched off since this spring, and there were no black-outs, no brown-outs, and no major problems. How did Japan achieve this?

    As the lower figure shows, traditional caloric energy production was increased by installing new power plants, and by bringing back old caloric power plants which had already been switched off, and by reducing the summer peak compared to recent years through energy savings. It has been estimated that the additional costs for imported fuel are on the order of US$ 40 billion.

    Expect Japan’s new national energy strategy plan to be announced in the next few days.

    Japan’s energy architecture is maybe a victim of its pre-Fukushima success: because Japan’s electricity supply was working so well, nobody felt motivated enough to change the existing monopolies, grid, energy mix, or to develop renewable energies. More in our Japan-energy report.

    Copyright·©1997-2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·