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Agency for Natural Resources and Energy The Electricity Supply-Demand Verification Subcommittee Has Compiled a Report

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) began conducting meetings for the Electricity Supply-Demand Verification Subcommittee under the Strategic Policy Committee of the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy in April 2016. The subcommittee compiled a report on actual electricity supply and demand for the winter of FY 2015 as well as the results of a study on the electricity supply-demand outlook for the summer of FY 2016.

1. Background and objectives

In light of the situation surrounding electricity supply and 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 throughout the examination from the viewpoint of ensuring a stable supply of electricity.

To achieve this goal, at the meetings of the Electricity Supply-Demand Verification Subcommittee, which METI established under the Strategic Policy Committee of the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy, a report was compiled based on actual electricity supply and demand for the winter of FY 2015 and the results of a study on the electricity supply-demand outlook for the summer of FY 2016.

2. Key points of the report

  1. Prospects for electricity supply and demand in the summer of FY 2016 show that it is expected that a reserve margin of 3% or more, which is the minimum ratio required for a stable supply of electricity, will be secured by all electrical power utilities without electricity interchange from other utilities, taking into account the risk of an extremely hot summer in 2016. The supply-demand balance has been improving to some extent on the supply side due to restarting of operation in the summer of 2015 of Units 1 and 2 of Sendai Nuclear Power Station run by Kyushu Electric Power Company. It has also been improving on the demand side due to the normalization of energy saving efforts by the public and consumer demand shift and other movement from traditional general electricity utilities to new entrants in the market.
  2. However, this expectation is based on the premise that regular inspection of thermal power plants could be postponed under the Act on Special Measures Concerning the Earthquake Disaster and that thermal power plants shut down long before the earthquake could be restarted. It also highly depends on electricity that will be generated by such thermal power plants. Based on this situation, it should be fully noted that this state may carry the risk of insufficient supply of energy caused by large-scale loss of energy sources or increased demand due to higher than expected temperatures. Japan should take appropriate measures with consideration to such factors.
  3. Japan, a natural resource-poor country, should endeavor to secure safety, as a basic premise, and stabilize energy supply, taking into consideration economic efficiency and climate change. It needs to take systematic, comprehensive measures targeting FY2030 in order to tackle a variety of challenges, including thorough efforts for energy saving, introducing renewable energy to the maximum extent possible, curbing carbon dioxide emissions, utilizing a variety of energy sources, and procuring energy from diversified sources, while considering the curbing of public burden.

Reference

Release date

April 28, 2016

Division in Charge

Office for Electricity Supply, Demand, Transmission, and Distribution Policy, Electricity Infrastructure Division, Electricity and Gas Industry Department, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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