Japan is likely to face a power shortage this summer, even more so than last year, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano said Friday.
With the last two of Japan's 54 nuclear reactors scheduled to go offline by the end of April, Edano said both industry and households will have to endure power-saving restrictions, Fuji TV reported.
Although Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and some other ministers have voiced their readiness to have some reactors restarted, Edano said such a decision will not be made until stress tests are rigorously conducted on all the nation's reactors.
Edano said the projected power shortfall is around 9.3%, Fuji reported. The biggest crunch is likely to be in the Kansai area which was largely unaffected by last year's Fukushima nuclear crisis. Kansai Electric Power Co is projecting a shortfall of around 20% during the peak summer period.
Shosuke Mori, the president of the Kansai Economic Federation and chairman of Kansai Electric Power Co, said that if nuclear reactors are not started, there will have to be changes to industrial manufacturing processes.
Meanwhile, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) is looking to switch to other forms of power, such as geothermal power. In January, it announced a 17% hike in power rates for corporate users partly to cover the costs of making the switch, but said recently that households may also have to pay more by summer.© Japan Today