Japan faces severe power shortage — Analysis
Blackouts have been warned residents and authorities, with a request to reduce energy consumption as the temperature drops.
Japan’s government has issued an emergency notice to residents, local organizations and authorities Monday warning about possible blackouts. The warning also calls on companies and households to turn off electricity from Tuesday morning. This request was made for Tokyo and eight additional prefectures. It is the first such emergency warning since January 2013.
This warning is issued after several power stations were damaged in an earthquake that struck the Tohoku area to the east. As expected, the problem was exacerbated by unseasonably low temperatures in Tokyo. Temperatures dropped to 39F (4C) and snow fell.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, (TEPCO), stated that power could go out to 2-3 million households if power consumption rates remain unchanged at 8pm.
“This is a sign that we’re getting close to power outages that are similar to those which occurred following the earthquake last week.,” Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Koichi Hagiuda said.
Hagiuda demanded an additional 5% in power savings each hour, from 3-8pm to 2 million kilowatts.
Hirokazu Matsuno was the Chief Cabinet Secretary and urged eastern Japan residents affected by the current power crisis to join the government in reducing power use.
“Please cooperate with us. For example, set your thermostats around 20 degrees Celsius (68 F) and switch off unnecessary lights,” Matsuno said during a press conference, adding that the issue is unlikely continue past Tuesday, as warmer weather is expected in the coming days.
TEPCO intended to reduce blackouts by increasing the power output from its thermal power plants unaffected and asking for electricity from other power providers.
A magnitude 7.4 earthquake that struck the northeast coast on Wednesday caused temporary blackouts of approximately 2,000,000 households. This includes hundreds of thousand in Tokyo. TEPCO’s service area affected and Tohoku Electric Power Co’s tohoku Electric Power Co are still experiencing difficulties.
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