Japan Urges Power Usage Cuts Amid Shortage Fears

Japan has urged households and businesses to cut down electricity usages by as much as 15 percent amid fears that nuclear plants shutdown will cause power shortages and blackouts.

The Japanese government has urged all its citizens to conserve electricity this summer in the wake of the earthquake/tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster. All of the 50 nuclear reactors that provided 30 percent of the nation’s power needs have been shut down for offline maintenance. After the public became skeptical of over dependance on nuclear energy, Japan has shifted to fossil fuels and energy saving measures to fill in the gap.

The country is avoiding rolling blackouts unlike cuts in the eastern parts of the country last year after the nuclear crisis. Nevertheless, it is preparing itself for mandatory cuts just in case. Calls for electricity reduction will be for the months from June to September when the usage is at its peak owing to high temperatures.

Power providers such as Kansai Electric serving the commercial regions of Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe, and those in the northern island of Hokkaido and southern Kyushu have warned that they may not be able to meet the demand. The companies have asked for customers in their regions to cut energy usage between 7 to 10%. The government has said that any saved power will be redirected to energy starved regions.

Although the government is wary of restarting nuclear restarts amid public protests, survey shows that big companies are expected to suffer and many of them are planning to shift their base abroad.

Image Credit: GFDL/KEI

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