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Japan sets power-saving targets

by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) April 11, 2011
Japan will set electricity-saving targets during the high-demand summer season to reduce consumption by up to 25 percent, amid shortfalls in the wake of its quake-tsunami disaster, the government said.

The plan seeks to ensure a stable power supply through cooperation from the public and private sectors by raising awareness of energy conservation, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a statement.

Disaster-struck Japan is bracing for months of energy shortages that could curb factory production and force households and workers to sweat out the humid summer with little or no air-conditioning.

The draft plan asks corporate heavy users to cut consumption by some 25 percent, the ministry said.

Companies which use less will be asked to reduce consumption by some 20 percent. Households and individuals are asked to cut consumption by between 15 percent and 20 percent, the statement said.

The world's number three economy, which endures 20 percent of all major earthquakes, generates about 30 percent of its power from nuclear plants.

The record 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami which battered Japan's northeast coast on March 11 prompted 11 of Japan's 55 nuclear reactors to shut down automatically and triggered a major crisis at a plant in Fukushima.

Three reactors were already idle at the world's largest nuclear power plant at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa on Japan's western coast due to a 2007 earthquake, and the recent disaster also damaged several thermal power plants.

As a result the region served by Tokyo Electric Power faces a power supply shortfall of at least 10,000 megawatts, or about 20 percent of demand, the government said last month.

Measures expected to be taken include reducing air conditioner use.

The government hopes to reduce power demand in the Tokyo Electric area by 10 million kilowatts or more and by at least 2.8 million kilowatts in the Tohoku Electric area.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange has said it will delay a planned extension of its trading hours so that it can reduce power consumption.


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Japan's post-disaster economy faces electric shock
Tokyo (AFP) April 10, 2011
Japan's economy, the world's third-largest, has been in trouble for nearly a generation, but nothing prepared it for the brutal impact of power shortages following the March 11 disaster. The 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami knocked out a sizable portion of the nation's electricity supply, creating a ripple effect that has spread throughout the economy and leaving Japan with a ... read more

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