Since Japan shut down all its nuclear power stations in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, the country has been exploring ways to replace the 30 percent of national power which was generated by nuclear energy. Ideas to diversify the national power grid range from tapping into local geothermal springs to investing in tidal power. At present however, the country faces blackouts, and as a result the government is urging businesses and households to cut electricity usage by up to 15%.

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After the meltdown at the Fukushima power plant, public opinion led to the shut down of the country’s nuclear power plants, but now the heavily-industrialised country has to make power cuts if it is to keep running efficiently.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura has said that the call for electricity reduction will take effect from July to September, but they will not be mandatory unlike cuts that were imposed in the eastern parts of the country last summer after the nuclear crisis.

Instead, it will be the heavily industrialised area of western Japan, served by Kansai Electric Power, that will be the focus of the cuts with local residents urged to cut their usage by 15%.

The decision, Fujimura said,  was made after a government meeting where it was decided there was a “need to widely instigate power-saving measures” due to the shutdown of nuclear facilities.

“The government will try hard to figure out how to implement the measures decided today so that the power savings will affect the economy and people’s livelihood as little as possible,” he said. “But I would like to repeat here our appeal to the nation to save power this summer.”

Before the shutdown, Japan’s nuclear power plants supplied 30% of the national power. It will be interesting to see what alternative energies they implement and how fast, in order to avoid blackouts becoming more frequent. The most likely result is that, for a while, fossil fuels may have to be used.

+ Kansai Electric Power

via BBC News

Images: Stéfan