For a second consecutive year, Japan’s government is asking households and industries in Tokyo to save electricity this summer to ensure uninterrupted power supply in the hottest months July and August.
Power supplies in resource-poor Japan are expected to be less tight this summer compared to the summer of 2022, but the government on Friday called for energy saving in the capital Tokyo again, “within a reasonable range.”
Tokyo Electric Power Company is estimated to have a reserve ratio of below 5%, close to the minimum target of 3% to ensure a stable electricity supply.
In case of a once-in-a-decade heatwave, the Tokyo area could have reserve capacity of just 3.1% in July and 4.8% in August, according to estimates by the Japanese industry ministry cited by Reuters. The reserve ratios for other regions in Japan would be above 5% in both July and August, the ministry said in its summer reserve and demand outlook last week.
Last year, Japan issued a country-wide call for power conservation in the summer, seeking to prevent blackouts as spare reserve capacity was expected to drop to critically low levels. Amid the energy crisis and soaring spot LNG prices, Japan – as well as other countries in the northern hemisphere – issued last summer calls for power and energy conservation to households, government offices, and industries.
Japan extended the call for power conservation into the 2022/2023 winter as energy scarcity and LNG price inflation continued to take a toll. To secure energy supply, the Japanese government in October even changed the national fuel law so that state-owned agencies could procure LNG in case private buyers are unable to secure sufficient volumes.
Another big Asian economy, China, is also preparing for another summer of power shortages. As China’s electricity demand is set to increase, some areas of the country could face renewed power shortages at peak demand times this summer, Chinese officials said in April.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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