Tokyo Shimbun found that electric power companies in Japan still had a reserve margin available to produce more power during successive days on which the temperature reached 35°C or above in the first weeks of August. For the first time since the Great East Japan Earthquake, the government did not request the nation’s cooperation in energy conservation efforts. Even so, the power consumption rate never went beyond 97%, indicating a “very slim margin” of capacity.
Japan’s utility companies advocate for nuclear power citing that it is necessary for the stable supply of the electricity. However, the data shows that the country’s supply of electricity is sufficient without nuclear power, undermining the credibility of this argument.
Every year at the beginning of August, consumption of electricity peaks due to a combination of increased manufacturing production before the O-Bon break and frequent air conditioning usage.
This year, electricity demand may still grow towards the end of August through the beginning of September, when factories go back to their regular schedules. Still, the demand is expected to be about 14% less than the period before the earthquake. The country’s nine utility companies still had some production margin on August 17th, the same day that more than 101 places nationwide recorded temperatures of 35°C or higher. (Abridged)