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    Japan enters energy saving period in the face of supply uncertainty


    December 1, 2022 - CE Noticias Financieras

     

      Tokyo, Dec. 1. Japan today began a period of energy saving in which the government recommends citizens to use heating to the minimum possible, among other measures, due to the decrease in gas supplies that the country receives.

      This is the first time that the Japanese Executive has implemented a national plan to save energy during the winter since 2015, when all the country's nuclear reactors remained inoperative following the atomic blackout resulting from the accident at the Fukushima power plant in 2011.

      Supplies of liquid natural gas that Japan uses to fuel its thermal power plants have dwindled in the wake of outages stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a circumstance that has increased energy uncertainty for a country highly dependent on its imports of these resources.

      "We will take all possible measures to ensure a stable supply of electricity," said Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura at a press conference the day before.

      The government is in talks with other countries affected by the same problems to "coordinate efforts to secure natural gas supplies," Nishimura said.

      Japan plans to maintain a reserve of 3% of its energy production capacity, the minimum level considered necessary to provide a stable supply during the winter in case of interruptions in the arrival of gas.

      At the same time, the authorities are calling on individuals and companies to use as little energy as possible in the event of eventualities such as natural disasters or problems at power plants that could further reduce the availability of electricity and gas.

      The government has created a system of points to compensate households that reduce their energy consumption with discounts on future electricity bills, and recommends installing thermal insulation systems in buildings or turning off lights when they are not necessary, among other measures.

      Some companies such as the Sony conglomerate have announced their intention to turn off their illuminated signs when the electricity supply system is under pressure.

      January is expected to be the most critical time in the country in terms of electricity demand, due to the minimum temperatures that are expected in much of the Japanese archipelago.

      Last March, Japan was on the brink of blackouts in large parts of the country due to power outages resulting from a strong earthquake that hit the northeast of the country and caused the temporary interruption of several thermal power plants, which coincided with a cold snap.

      The government also plans to accelerate the reactivation of nuclear plants that comply with the new and stricter safety requirements, as part of its measures to ensure a stable electricity supply in the current situation. EFE

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