Tokyo to face tight power supply this summer


Xinhua News

2nd April 2023 – (Tokyo) Japan’s Tokyo area is expected to sustain a tight supply-demand situation for electricity this summer, according to projections made by the government.

According to the latest estimates released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the reserve power supply capacity ratio in the metropolitan area might hit the lowest level for maintaining stable supply by falling to 3 percent, if the region served by Tokyo Electric Power Company experiences excessive heat on a once-in-a-decade scale in July.

Even if such severe weather persists, utilities in other locations are anticipated to have power supply reserves of greater than 3 percent, the forecast showed.

The estimates, based on the supply plans of electrical service providers, expected the reserve capacity rate to improve to 3.9 percent in the Tokyo area in August and stand at 4.6 percent in January 2024 for the region as well as northern parts of Japan including Hokkaido.

Amid power crunch concerns, the Japanese government asked Japanese residents and businesses to conserve electricity in July of last year.

The request was made to avoid a power shortage for the first time since fiscal 2015, when all of the nation’s nuclear reactors were shut down in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster brought on by a powerful earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

A similar request was issued for this winter until Friday, with the government encouraging residents to lower their thermostat settings and switch off lights when not in use.

To ensure a stable power supply, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has instructed his government to speed up efforts to restart nuclear reactors that face stringent safety standards implemented after the 2011 disaster, local media reports showed.