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ECONOMY > Energy

Japan power supply-demand balance seen very tight this summer

  • May 26, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 12:29 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, May 26 (Jiji Press)–The supply-demand balance for electricity in Japan this summer is expected to be the tightest in recent years, the industry ministry has said.


The outlook, released on Tuesday, reflects the suspension or scrapping of many old unprofitable thermal power plants. The supply-demand balance may be tight this winter as well, the ministry said.


The ministry will ask households and companies for energy saving and request major utilities to conduct checkups of their power plants at different times.


If this summer turns out to be the hottest in 10 years, power supply capacity in July would exceed expected maximum demand by 3.7 pct, only slightly above 3 pct, the minimum-required level for stable supply, in all regions except the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido and the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa. The margin is estimated at 3.8 pct in many regions in August.


In case the coming winter is the coldest in 10 years, the reserve margin in the area covered by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. <9501> could fall into minus territory in January-February 2022 unless necessary countermeasures are taken, the ministry warned.


Measures that the ministry reported to a panel of experts Tuesday included a request for households and companies to make reasonable efforts to use electricity efficiently.


After a fall in inventories of liquefied natural gas, used for thermal power generation, led to the supply-demand balance becoming tight in January, the ministry will ask major utilities to make thorough efforts to secure fuel.


Meanwhile, it will call on power retailers to be well prepared for a surge in wholesale electricity prices by using futures trading and other means.

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