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Edano says Japan facing power shortage in summer

72 Comments

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.

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If everyone in the nation turned off their toilet seat heaters, I think we'd be just about right. :-)

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Only last month, he stated that even without any nuclear reactors operatiing there would be no power shortages during the summer. What`s the reason for turn of face? Pressure maybe from Uncle Nuke?

15 ( +16 / -1 )

@sushisake3

dude, heated toilet seats rock!

aren't we already paying higher electricity prices? i think my bill has already increased by about 20%. how much more can they rise?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I smell a rat! KEPCO have been pushing to restart two of its reactors which passed the stress tests, in Fukui. They are built on a fault line which caused a powerful earthquake in 1949.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

And what has everyone done to deal with life without air conditioners? Pretty much nothing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Poor Kansai. It gets much hotter there in summer. I remember 39C in Shinsaibashi one August-savage heat.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Not noticed an awful lot being done in terms of energy saving throughout the winter months. My office has been a constant 27 degrees since November.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

zichi,

Yes, the industry is lobbying heavily to influence politicians and public opinion on this in order to get the mothballed reactors up and running again. In the end this will be METI's call, so what Noda says on any given day isn't really something we should take as written in stone.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hojo Soun

the last word I read from the government was it wouldn't given permission to restart reactors without the support of the local people?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No kidding, look at my history I said the exact same thing the other day. What did people think would happen come summer?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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.

You know in a normal year Japan accounts for about 20 percent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater, and every year there are up to 2,000 quakes that can be felt by people. 2011 was a catastrophic year for earthquakes. I think it's safe to say the people are fed up with energy from nuclear reactors. There's no such thing as quake-proofing a nuclear reactor. I hope no one ever forgets those last words from TEPCO from the Kashiwaki Plant July 2007 "ensuring the people's safety is of utmost importance" We're past the anxiety attack!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ Hojo Soun

In the end this will be METI's call, so what Noda says on any given day isn't really something we should take as written in stone.

I wonder what happened to regulatory organs being moved from METI to other ministries?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Guess I'll be cutting back on my electrical use again this summer. What angers me are those nitwits who don't go along with such energy-saving tactics and insist on using as much electricity as they desire, keeping their air-conditioners in the high teens, etc. If we do indeed need electrical rationing, then we should all do our share equally in reducing usage.

As for the power shortages, they might be popping up all over Japan while the nuclear power facilities remain idle. Guess if we want our share of electricity, then somebody's gotta start re-starting those facilities somehow. So some day in the near future our lights will probably once again be running on nuclear power ...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If everyone in the nation turned off their toilet seat heaters, I think we'd be just about right.

I like my warm toilet seat, and damned if I'm going to turn it off in the summer. Tell you what, I reckon those dumb politicians that bribe the country, and steal our tax money for stuffing their faces with sushi, should cut down on their air-conditioning in their massage parlours! That would save us a fortune..

0 ( +3 / -3 )

next statement before summer : daijobu da (ok, no problem), relax, no panic at all !

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Lets all hope for an unseasonably cool summer. Everyone wins.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Last year in West Japan, Kansai, we reduced our summer power consumption by about 15% by using fans, ice packs on our heads instead of the usual ac. Additional beer helped out too.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I think perhaps Mr. Edano has been listening to too much Dire Straits?

If you wanna run cool,

You gotta run

On heavy heavy Fuel.

I'm here to tell you, that kind of Heavy Fuel isn't cool anymore, it probably never was.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Save the environment. Build more reactors. Get the current ones back online ASAP.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

You would think that an equal or greater amount of energy would be used in Japan during the winter than the summer to power all the heaters in the shopping malls.

I'm starting to think that there must be some sort of taboo about regulating energy during winter. I'm just waiting for someone to tell me "It's common sense to regulate power during the summer months-everyone knows that!"

4 ( +4 / -0 )

zichi,

the last word I read from the government was it wouldn't given permission to restart reactors without the support of the local people?

Even without local support, they are going to start claiming they have local support.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

and i say, not again

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Outta her in a couple of weeks, back home to energy surplus, cheaper food, reasonable housing prices and costs! Sorry about missing out on the fun of energy savings. Turn off all the drink vending machines, for dog's sake!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I agree with GDemmons - turn off all the vending machines, close the game centers after 11pm, turn off neon signs in the city and you're halfway there! Haven't noticed a whole lot of energy problems when it comes to requiring it for heating all winter. Then again, haven't seen a whole lot of the donated money being used to help people either. TEPCO should really stop what they are doing and hand this off on to someone who knows what to do. They can also save energy by not having the air-conditioners turned to 28 celsius all summer!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Using power more efficiently should be part of the new dawn of energy.

I think at least 15-20% could be saved by power efficiency. Domestic water heating accounts for 30% of domestic energy, or 30% of your power/gas bills.

With the introduction of eco heat pump systems, something recommended by the Federation of Power Companies, would reduce the energy consumption to below 10%. In other words, a 20% reduction in your monthly gas/power bills.

These heat pump units could also cool a fridge and provide cooling for ac.

If businesses also installed heat pumps then there would be further power reductions.

The Tohoku reconstruction has the opportunity to build green low energy homes and other buildings.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'm all about reducing electricity usage. Turn off the escalators, close down every pachinko(why send that money to the yaks or NK?), warm biz/cool biz, less heat or AC within reason. Humanity survived without AC for many years. Make sun tea. I made a solar oven following an INSTRUCTIBLES guide. It's amazing what can be done off-line. If you try.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I didn't use my air-con at home ONCE last year after the big quake, and I survived just fine. If that's what it takes to avoid the plants being restarted, I say we all do our best to conserve. Thing is, big businesses won't (as much), and the biggest business in question, KEPCO, wants the green to keep rolling in and is putting a lot of pressure on government.

Hence, Edano, who also said there would be a power shortage in winter, is up on the soapbox again.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

when my wife is not in the apartment, the ac goes on full blast. Hahahaha !!!!!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Turn off the vending machines and close down the convinience stores overnight and you will largely solve this problem. Of course, this will never happen, because it is far easier to stick it to the little people and make them suffer through the summer.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This whole scenario seems to be a never ending circle of conflicting reports. One week it is fine and the next it is not! The dark side of all this conjecture and increased power prices is, most Japanese companies will take their manufacturing to cheaper countries and Japan will be in deeper doodoo in over the next five years. The phrase 'economy depression' springs to mind. Nuclear power or not, Japan's economy is doomed!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

KEPCO area is the heaviest dependence (44%) on nuke power in Japan. If KEPCO can supply enough energy without nuke power, other electric companies should be able to supply enough power without nuke, according to TV Asahi (Iida Tetsuya)

[KEPCO supply capacity]

nuke 3,370,000kw

pumped hydro 4,480,000kw

thermal 14,150,000kw

hydro 2,250,000kw

others(Wholesale Electricity Utility thermal…etc) 5,220,000kw

total 29,470,000kw

[KEPCO calculation they can supply power without nuke]

nuke 0kw

pumped hydro 2,350,000kw

thermal 14,150,000kw

hydro 2,250,000kw

others 5,220,000kw

total 23,970,000~23,980,000kw

KEPCO claims peak electricity demand will exceed supply by 13.9% (3,860,000kw) without nuke. (pumped hydro will be less because of no nuke power, according to KEPCO)

[Iida Tetsuya's calculation that KEPCO can supply without nuke]

nuke 0kw

pumped hydro 4,880,000kw (pumped hydro is possible with thermal at night time)

thermal 14,150,000kw

hydro 2,250,000kw

others 6,180,000kw (KEPCO can buy power from other companies at peak time)

solar 470,000kw

total 27,930,000kw

The number of days when peak electricity demand exceeded supply (27,930,000kw)

[2010] 31 days (out of 365 days)

[2011] 2 days (out of 365 days)=thanks to power saving.

That means (according to Iida) if Kansai area can save more power for a couple hours for a couple days (out of 365 days), there should be no problem without nuke.

http://www.at-douga.com/?p=5022

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Blair Herron, good info. I think KEPCO is also building a new wind turbine plant on Awaji Island where they also have a solar plant, I think?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Turn off the vending machines and close down the convinience stores overnight and you will largely solve this problem.

Really? Got some numbers to back this up?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All city street lights should go SOLAR ASAP!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

No pan no bura also should be enforced this summer strictly IMHO.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It not enough guys, more factories are going to close. More jobs will leave a soot covered Japan. Perhaps the economy will get so bad that energy production will exceed demand. What about your jobs? Just think how the air will be in Tokyo this summer. I remember being in Tokyo as a little girl and you could cut the air with a knife. No the panic reaction of the Japanese public will ensure the demise of Japan as an economic power. Cutting off toilet seats and vending machines is a joke policy.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Shutting down all the nuclear plants will lead to a power shortage? You don't day!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Blair Herron, I don't know who Iida Tetsuya is, googling his name reveals he is the leader of a think tank for "sustainable energy" (so likely an activist, not an expert). Frankly, I trust KEPCO's estimates better than his, and I'll tell you why.

In what are the previsions different? Two elements, the first is a difference in "pumped hydro", the second is a difference in the amount of electricity that can be bought from other utilities.

For the first, pumped hydro means that when there is excess power generated in low demand periods, water is pumped with that energy, so that it can be turbined later on, thus recuperating the energy (minus pumping losses). Nuclear power stations work by providing a constant load, so it's likely that much of the pumped hydro's actual energy comes from nuclear power, as nuclear power stations keep working at full capacity day and night, even when there is no demand for that energy. So you need some place to store that energy. Pumped hydro is basically like a giant battery.

Without the nuclear power plants, it seems absolutely ridiculous to presume that they will have the same exact amount of energy available through pumped hydro. They will have some, but less than if nuclear was active.

The argument that it can be done with geothermal is true but misleading. Geothermal can do it, but nowhere near the scale nuclear power did it. You'd need hundreds of billions of yen in investment and likely decades before geothermal is able to offer as much power as the actual nuclear power plants. That's true of all renewable energies, for example, Denmark is investing more than 1,5 billion euros a year in wind power... and after years and years of this policy, is barely producing the equivalent of two small nuclear reactors with wind, so less than 10 TWh. Many nuclear power stations (that have more than one reactor) easily produce twice or thrice that, or more.

Second, the idea that in peak demand periods they can just import large quantity of energy from other utilities. There is one big problem with that... Peak demand periods are basically the same for ALL utilities in Japan. An heat wave is rarely limited to just one city. That means that it is very likely that, at the moment where KEPCO will need to buy electricity from other utilities, other utilities will ALSO be looking to buy electricity from other utilities.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Elbuda Mexicano

The problem with putting city street lights on solar power, apart from the exorbitant cost of replacing all of the actual ones, is that you are in the CITY, with tall buildings close to them generating a lot of shadows, depriving them of hours of sunlight every day. I'm not sure they would get enough sunlight to run all night, every night of the year.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Turn off the vending machines and close down the convinience stores overnight and you will largely solve this problem.

What would really work is shutting the doors on the damned stores, I see Yamada Denki, Lush etc blasting cold air out open front doors into Center Gai all summer, it seriously ticks me off!! People sweltering in their homes while stores waste energy like that!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All city street lights should go SOLAR ASAP!!

what street lighting in Japan?

My bet is that no other G7 nation will ever find themselves in such predicament that Japan is facing right now.

This energy crisis Japan is facing is akin to the US embargo crude oil to Japan back in 1941: both avoidable and the most predictably puerile of all the available responses

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can't believe people actually think heated toilet seats are necessary! And turn off the air conditioners - any summer heat on the main islands is totally bearable, if you're not so overweight or sedentary you're committing a longer-term suicide. Sweat is good for you!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Kchoze, thank you for sharing your idea. I do not have enough knowledge to support all Iida’s calculation and I know that pumped hydro is always controversial point as I posted before (last November)

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/japan-co2-emissions-see-first-rise-in-three-years#comment_1133980

So you need some place to store that energy. Pumped hydro is basically like a giant battery.

According to Iida, and professor Takano Masao (Nagoya uni), pumped hydro is possible by thermal at off peak time (night). Takano’s calculation is based on the data from the Agency of Natural Resources and Energy of METI.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xjsp9n_yyyyyy-yyyyyyyy-1-2_news

What he says in the video I posted earlier is convincing (at least for me)

Koide Hiroaki, assistant professor of Kyoto University, has different calculation that Japan can go through without nuke. He didn’t include pumped hydro.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTx942kwh94

The argument that it can be done with geothermal is true but misleading.

Iida is not mentioning anything about geothermal there.

Second, the idea that in peak demand periods they can just import large quantity of energy from other utilities. There is one big problem with that... Peak demand periods are basically the same for ALL utilities in Japan. An heat wave is rarely limited to just one city. That means that it is very likely that, at the moment where KEPCO will need to buy electricity from other utilities, other utilities will ALSO be looking to buy electricity from other utilities.

Maybe you are right. But what Iida said at the video, 「独立の発電業者と言われる自家発電が大量に(ある)。これも時間を決めて買えるようにしておく」(There are a number of IPP:Independent Power Producer) Sumitomo Kinzoku Co., Osaka gas, Kanden Plant Co., …and many others.

http://www.shikoku.meti.go.jp/soshiki/skh_d6/9_info/top/e-arekore.htm

TEPCO projects it will be able to supply electricity beyond last summer's maximum capacity next summer even if all 17 of its nuclear reactors go offline, company sources said last Decmber. TEPCO projects it can supply about 57 million kilowatts of power next summer through greater thermal and hydro power generation even if all of its nuclear reactors stop operations by summer. TEPCO's maximum supply capacity last summer reached 55.70 million kw on Aug. 17, against the maximum demand of 49.22 million kw logged the following day. (source: Mainichi shimbun)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder what happened to regulatory organs being moved from METI to other ministries?

@SquidBert: it hasn't happened. Nothing has changed so far :-(

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We can keep debating until the swelling heat of mid July and still not come to a consensus on what ought to be turned off.

What Japan needs to do now is pursue a moratorium on its Kyoto Protocol obligations, unilaterally if need be, secure enough fossil based fuels and hook up unused ships to the power grid. We could ask Chinese shipbuilders to prepare hulks with rudimentary coal and oil fired generators.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A better alternative to pumped hydro would be compressed air. The cost and speed of installing compressed air storage would cheaper and quicker than building pumped hydro systems. It would take up less land space since the storage for the compressed air will sit on the sea floor, which means they could be located at any place along the very long Japanese coast. The compressed is then used to generate more power during peak load times.

Off shore wind turbines could also be constructed but instead of generating power which they usually do, they produce compressed air, again stored in bags on the sea floor.

These systems could be installed even before the start of the summer heat.

http://www.ecogeek.org/component/content/article/3522

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@kchoze: the debate is beyond that. Big EQ can happen any time anywhere in Japan. No NPP is 100% EQ-proof. None is allowed to take the risk to contaminate not only Japan, but the whole North Hemisphere to satisfy 5,6,10 % lack of power. Then the world must understand and grants Japan extra allowance on CO2 emission to stop this bargain.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Where I work they've had signs on the wall saying "28 degrees in summer, 20 degrees in winter", but everyone has had it on 28 all winter ("samui, samui"), so it'll be 20 all summer no doubt. The message hasn't quite got thru.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This officials flip flopping about power supplies are bunch of amoebas. Why can't TEPCO , Noda , Mora, Edano to name a few, cannot think and plan constructing Solar panel at the dead and destructed areas in Fukushima. This areas are already confirmed not suitable for living conditions due to radioactive contaminations which will take decades until safe. The idea of switching to geothermal energy is quite fine but will burden consumers being charged more, just because of TEPCOs incompetency in handling disaster and safety with their NUKE Power plants hugh money making business. With Japan's competent construction firms, High Technology, I don't think it will take many moons to construct solar panels for energy. Owners of the land at the forbidden areas could be either be a TEPCOs shareholder to save a little for their compensations or buy their lands plus their compensation.

If SOFTBANK ccn construct solar panels somewhere Japan for re-usable energy, why can't TEPCO?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Blair Herron

I stand corrected about geothermal/thermal to help stock pumped water for hydroelectric assistance in peak hours. That being said, I still tend to believe more KEPCO's estimates. I think that KEPCO did it from an engineering point of view, meaning more conservative estimates, because things can go wrong. This counter-estimate is more optimistic, and as someone with an engineering background myself, I prefer the pessimistic estimate, because they tend to be closer to reality, and they have built-in margin of errors.

Still, I do not see burning likely thousands of tons more of fossil fuels a good thing for the environment. The disaster of fossil fuel power generation is much more important than any nuclear accident ever was. Tens of thousands die every year due to complications from air pollution, just in developed countries. This death toll is magnitudes worse than the sum of all nuclear accidents up to now. And that's without talking of the consequences of climate change, brought on in large part by thermal power plants.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

baji

plan constructing Solar panel at the dead and destructed areas in Fukushima

Because solar power is unpredictable and expensive. What happens if it's cloudy? You're stuffed.

Guys, you've got some lovely ideas about how to change power production, but it's all pie in the sky. Ask yourself if it's all so simple, why don't China, India, Brazil and everyone else go for these "simple" solutions? It's about cost. And in Japan's situation time is not on its side.

The general public are not going to switch off their air-cons and TVs. They're going to keep sucking up power, unless the government rolls out brown-outs and forces them to do without. The only answer is to turn the reactors that are deemed safe back on. And there is no reason to believe that they're all dodgy. It's just a case of people being paranoid and extreme NIMBYism (Not-in-my-backyard).

If the public are still against it, I think the government should organise an emergency national referendum. Rolling brown-outs or reinstating nuclear reactors that an international panel assesses safe.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Patrick Smash, not everyone is willing to sweat it out. The shutting down of all of the atomic plants gives an illusion of safety. Japan is not a 3rd world country but people are out to make it such. If you want to be miserable it is your problem, I want to be comfortable. The short to medium run is to turn the plants back on. Find a new source and replace the fossil plants first. They are killing people in Japan. Must be thousands of people and is polluting more land than 10 Fukushima disasters. Wind and Solar are find to supplement but they will not do for large scale.

Perhaps the Russians might want to send observers and safety teams to Japan. They can be part of the inspection process. Am so happy I do not spend much time on mainland Japan. Okinawa does not have this problem.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Getting through a summer without reactors will prove that nuclear is "not needed". It's crucial for citizens to "not back down".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Save energy, shut down all the pachinko parlours.... simples !

2 ( +3 / -1 )

YuriOtani but according to you, you live in America which generates 50% of its total power from coal fired stations. Only 11% from nuclear. It also burns 4 times more energy than any other country.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The future of power generation is with all the energies which have been there since the beginning of time. Wind, solar, wave, tidal, geothermal, all these gifts are provided free by the nature. We are meant to use them. The big power companies in their greed for power and profit have done their best to drive us away from such notions, dismissing them as impossible or dreams.

How would you like to have free power for your homes and cars. No monthly bills to worry about. No need to worry about car gas prices. No more Big Oil, Big Nuke, Big Coal, Big Nuke...

You can even generate all the power you will need for your mobile devices just from walking.

Don't let these companies destroy our future.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hope they turn off most of the glaring lights this summer like last year. That was really nice, and created a very pleasant atmosphere. However, it was nearly impossible to teach classes where aircon was 27.

One Awajishima wind turbine is not going to save this country, but thousands of them may. Let's get to it, Japan. No nukes means finally having to live within our means. I'm all for it. Gotta keep some aircon, though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We have all been manipulated, lied to, tricked and conned, and overcharged for all our energy needs for decades.

50 years ago, the technology was available to make a car go 100 mpg, but it was bought up by the men of greed and power in Big Oil.

Old solutions to old problems will no longer cut it.

We could have solar energy in new style devices which generate more than 10 fold the power the current ones generate and the device would be 10 times smaller allowing more of them on the same roof space. With nanotechnology, even a single electron can be held until we need it. This is done by a small and not very expensive device. Power where you need it, when you need it. Free and you`ll have 100% control over it.

No more monthly energy bills, no more filling the car with expensive planet destroying gas.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I still tend to believe more KEPCO's estimates. I think that KEPCO did it from an engineering point of view, meaning more conservative estimates.

I partly agree with you. They are responsible to supply power to every household and business. They should be conservative. But when TEPCO estimated last summer, they included every household has 2 refrigerators and air-conditioner is on for 24 hours. (sorry I don’t have the link for it. I just heard from morning news the other day.) I thought they are too conservative. I hope every electric company will be open to show their estimation in detail and we can find what’s best for us.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Set out more vending machines! Fridges and vending machines cool things by cooling air which then cools the contents.

Most of the vending machines in Japan are very well insulated and use timers so that they only cool or heat beverages at night and when someone buys a drink from a vending machine almost no air is exchanged with the outside atmosphere. Whereas opening a drink case in a shop or a fridge at home allows a great deal of air to escape.

Keep your fridge full of stuff so that there is the least amount of air possible in it to save electricity.

And keep all offices below 25C to save even more power. Studies show that when temperatures rise above 25C there is a drastic drop off in productivity. With office temperatures set at 28C, productivity is low, workers must work longer, the office must stay open longer and energy consumption is increased.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In the 3 years I lived in Japan, the a/c in my apt wasn't used once. A fan and cold water got me through last summer, people need to stop whining, unless you have very small children or elderly people living with you there's no reason to use an air conditioner. Closing pachinko would help too...all it does is line pockets of yaks and North Koreans.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Last year we used fans instead of the ac and I had heat stroke three times, on one occassion I was in bed for a week, so this year I`ll use the ac again. Sorry but I need it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If the Japanese truly adopted a power saving strategy this wouldn't happen. All I see is companies, restaurants, shops, etc. using way too much power. Sometimes I get headaches because the lights in the convenient stores are so bright. Just turning up the AC in the office to 28 degrees in the summer accomplishes nothing. Turn down the AC a few degrees and shut off all the lights and electronic audio announcements everywhere. The grocery stores here are so loud that sometimes it makes my head spin. Non-sense!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nine percent savings should be no problem. Zichi suffered for nothing last year. Tokyo reduced energy use over 15% last summer after the government lied that it was necessary to avoid catastrophic shortages. These DPJ blokes are puppets to the nuclear industry and the bureaucrats in its employe. Just like the LDP. What they fear is that Kansai will prove nuclear power is unnecessary the way Kanto did last year.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Humanity survived without AC for many years.

This is true, but before AC was invented, buildings were designed to stay cool by using breezes, good ventilation, and "breathe-able" wooden walls.

Today's office buildings were built under the presupposition that AC would be available. Many structures built in the last ten years have their windows sealed shut! Workplaces typically have a computer at every desk now; these spew out hot air and require cooling and ventilation.

So when you suddenly shut off AC in those buildings, they get ridiculously hot: even in winter, my office is in the 26-28 range all the time. Summer is worse.

If you want to retrofit the structures so that AC isn't as necessary as it is now, that's fine. But to say that we did fnie before AC came along is to disregard how much more heat-retentive buildings are today compared to then.

And keep all offices below 25C to save even more power. Studies show that when temperatures rise above 25C there is a drastic drop off in productivity. With office temperatures set at 28C, productivity is low, workers must work longer, the office must stay open longer and energy consumption is increased.

Proxy, I agree entirely. Just telling people to suffer and sweat and come to work in shorts isn't a solution. Workplace productivity falls off a cliff when temperatures get this high; people are sluggish and lethargic... but nobody can complain about that for fear of looking like they lack "gaman"! I say keep the AC on, maybe at a moderately-warm 23 degrees, but have people work in smaller spaces, have the non-essential computers run at lower clock speeds to stop their CPUs from heating up, and most importantly go home on time and shut the computers off when they leave.

Instead we're facing who-knows-how-many summers (only summers, mind you; God forbid anyone should keep the temperatures below 20 in the winter) of setsuden, because when you're indoors sweating at a desk but wiping sweat from your brow and saying "atsui!" every five seconds, you can feel like you're making a big sacrifice and properly gaman-ing.

Any job openings at companies where we can live in Australia between May and October and then go North for the winter?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

One solar panel can run the lighting in two rooms for a week if the system is connected to a rechargeable battery. Japanese companies have large production capacity for solar panel production but the costs for basic systems are inflated. There are few ,if any subsidies. The government here has done nothing to increase demand for clean energy at a time when it is most needed -it is shameful !

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The electrical systems on the Tokai nuclear power plant failed the stress tests. Environment Minister Goshi Hosono, stated the plant should be decommissioned, also it's one of the oldest in the country.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tōkai_Nuclear_Power_Plant

All nuclear fuel should be removed from the plant and the reactor decommission but they should just leave the empty reactor in place.

The turbines and the all the systems for supplying power to the plant and taking away generated power are all in place and working. The turbines could be converted to produce compressed air from overnight power.

A diagram of the idea of using compressed air to generate power.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/ba/Minebw.jpg

But in the diagram it shows a limestone cavern for storing the compressed air. Instead of this, bags could be used on the sea bed, which could hold more compressed air in a smaller space or bag.

http://www.thin-red-line.com/press-release-05-03-11.html

Compressed air is produced from unused overnight power. Stored in bags on the seabed. The compressed air is used during peak time to provide extra power.

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What is this Edano. Another marketing campaign for TEPCO and JGovt to convince people of Japan they need to switch on all the unsafe standard Nuke Power plant?

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If they would stop using rice cookers or at least cut back on how much rice they make they would be able to make it without shortages.

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Japan should buy more of Chinese solar panels. Globally, low-cost Chinese panels have driven down the cost of solar energy by two-thirds in the last four years, The J-goverment should support the development of solar energy by offering greater financial incentives for companies and households to buy solar panels and J-goverment should put quotas on power companies for the amount of renewable energy they must buy. The goverment should heavily subsidize the installation of large numbers solar energy. The future of solar energy is too important to be left to be solved by litigation.

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BernieK I think it's safe to say the people are fed up with energy from nuclear reactors.

Especially in summer people do not care where their energy comes from as long as they can keep their AC on and maintain some degree of comfort. I wonder how many of those people would continue to oppose the nuclear energy once they have to sweat out the peak hours.

Zichi

I do not mean to argue with you but there have been also other reasons for developing nuclear plants, not simply the greed of the electric companies. You may have heard that though Japan has wind power plants, for example, they cannot be built at any windy place due to the sudden change of the direction of the wind, etc. - local features which damage the wind generators quite quickly. Solar energy is also a much spoken of alternative but it is not the power companies' single fault. Technology is simply not so advanced yet to make solar energy a truly reliable source of energy. Like it or not, Japan had reasons to introduce nuclear energy 40 years back and though time has come to think hard about the alternatives, the first thing at the moment is not giving up the nuclear energy but finding ways of making it as safe as it could be and continue developing alternatives along the way. I do believe that nuclear plants will be phased out some day but not in the immediate future anyway.

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Power to the People!

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