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METI Releases Measures for Electricity Supply and Demand for the Winter of FY2018

November 8, 2018

On November 8, 2018, the Electricity and Gas Basic Policy Subcommittee under the Electricity and Gas Industry Committee of the Advisory Committee held a meeting and formulated a report on the electricity supply-demand outlook for the winter of FY2018 and necessary measures based on the outlook.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) hereby releases the report.

1. Background and objectives

Aiming to provide complete and balanced electricity supply-demand measures to address Japan’s situations surrounding electricity after the Great East Japan Earthquake, Japan has been studying supply and demand of electricity in summer and winter, the seasons when electricity demand increases across Japan.

On November 8, 2018, the subcommittee held a meeting and formulated a report on the electricity supply-demand outlook for the winter of FY2018 and necessary measures based on the outlook.

2. Key points of the report

  1. As for the outlook of electricity supply and demand for the winter of FY2018, the Working Group on Electricity Resilience, an expert committee convened under the Electricity and Gas Industry Committee and the Industrial Safety and Consumer Product Safety Committee, reviewed the examination results conducted by the third-party committee on impacts caused by the 2018 Hokkaido Eastern Iburi Earthquake. Following this, the subcommittee confirmed adequacy of the outcome of the review.
  2. As for the electricity supply and demand for the winter of FY2018, a reserve margin of 3%, which is the minimum ratio required for stable supply of electricity across Japan, is expected to be secured by all electrical power utilities. Even if power stations’ shut down without schedule occur widely across the Hokkaido service area, i.e. a decrease of 1.54 million kW which is equivalent to a decrease of the power generated by three units in Tomato-Atsuma Coal-Fired Power Plant, a reserve margin of 3% or more is expected to be secured due to accelerated operation of in-house power generators and other efforts.
  3. Accordingly, the subcommittee decided to not require the public in service areas other than the Hokkaido service area to cooperate in additional energy saving efforts this winter.
  4. Meanwhile, concerning the Hokkaido service area, the subcommittee comprehensively considered the following points: [i] the scale of power grids in the service area is small and power interchange with other utilities may have some constraints; [ii] as the service area will face a severe winter, a tight supply and demand balance of electricity by any chance may threaten people’s lives and safety; [iii] the service area experienced a blackout in September 2018, and if any power station is shut down without schedule widely across the service area, Japan should take special care in measures for addressing the supply-demand balance. In light of these points, the subcommittee decided to request people in the Hokkaido service area to “save electricity without setting numerical goals.”
  5. Furthermore, METI will take measures for fortifying resilience of Japan’s electricity system in light of the examination results by the third-party committee and outcome of the review by the Working Group on Electricity Resilience.

Appendix

Division in Charge

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