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Agency for Natural Resources and EnergyThe Electricity Supply-Demand Verification Subcommittee has Compiled a Report

Since March 2014, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has been conducting meetings for the Electricity Supply-Demand Verification Subcommittee under the Strategic Policy Committee of the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy. The subcommittee subsequently compiled a report on the results of the electricity supply-demand in the winter of FY2013 and the results of a study on the electricity supply-demand outlook in the summer of FY2014.

1. Background and purpose

In light of the situation surrounding the electricity supply-demand after the Great East Japan Earthquake, it has been necessary to examine the electricity supply-demand outlook, which is the basis for electricity supply-demand measures, while securing objectivity and transparency in the examination from the viewpoint of securing a stable supply of energy.

To achieve this goal, METI established the subcommittee under the Strategic Policy Committee of the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy, and compiled a report on the results of the electricity supply-demand in the winter of FY2013 and the results of a study on the electricity supply-demand outlook in the summer of FY2014.

2. Key points of the report

  1. Prospects for the electricity supply-demand in the summer of FY2014 show a much tighter power balance compared to those in the summer of FY2013 in all the service areas in Chubu and western Japan, due to the influence of the shutdowns of Units 3 and 4 of Ohi Nuclear Power Station as well as the problems that occurred at the end of March 2014 in Unit 2 of Matsuura Thermal Power Station, which is operated by J-Power. Considering this situation, without electricity interchanges using frequency converters (FCs) from utilities in eastern Japan to those in western Japan, the report says, the reserve rate is estimated to be 2.7%, lower than the 3% that should be secured in the service areas as a minimum requirement for stable power supply.
  2. Anticipating expected electricity interchanges using FCs between utilities, a reserve rate of 3% or more is estimated to be secured in the service areas in both the Chubu area and western Japan. However, the report also says that Japan should recognize that taking into account such electricity interchanges using FCs as a preparation would, accordingly, make utilities less responsive to potential risks and that it is necessary to take special measures for addressing the electricity supply-demand, expecting an extremely more severe power balance than that in the summer of FY2013.
  3. In addition to the quantitative balance of the electricity supply-demand, other serious issues are also highlighted, including an increase in costs, along with the issue of global warming. To deal with them, the report mentions that it is necessary to systematically formulate comprehensive measures, including those for curbing costs and diversifying energy sources, from a long-term perspective.

For further details, see the Japanese language press release.

Release Date

April 30, 2014

Division in Charge

Office for Electricity Supply, Demand, Transmission and Distribution Policy, Electricity Infrastructure Division, Electricity and Gas Industry Department

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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