February 26, 2024

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Japan warns of power outages, stern appeal to save energy as temperatures drop

Japan warns of power outages, stern appeal to save energy as temperatures drop

Houses and buildings in electrical shutdown in the area after an earthquake at the Toshima Pavilion in Tokyo, Japan, March 17, 2022. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

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  • Electricity crisis in eastern Japan
  • Power supply shortage after damage caused by last week’s earthquake
  • The unreasonable cold causes an energy crisis

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan on Tuesday issued an emergency appeal to citizens, businesses and local authorities to conserve energy, warning of possible power outages after a massive earthquake brought many power plants to a standstill and unusually cold weather boosted demand.

With snow in Tokyo and the temperature dropping sharply to four degrees Celsius (39 Fahrenheit), Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501.T) He said 2-3 million homes could lose power after 8 p.m. (1100 GMT) at their current energy use rate.

“At this rate, we are getting closer to a situation where we will have to have power outages similar to those that occurred after the earthquake (last week),” Economy, Trade and Industry Minister (Mite) Koichi Hagiuda said.

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At a hastily held press conference, Hagioda called for an additional 5% or so of hourly energy savings from 3 to 8 p.m., equivalent to about 2 million kilowatt-hours.

Electronics Dealer Bic Camera (3048.) It said it has turned off about half of the TVs in more than 30 of its stores in eastern Japan.

Last Wednesday’s 7.4-magnitude earthquake off the northeastern coast – the same area devastated by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011 – temporarily cut power to nearly two million households, including hundreds of thousands in the capital, Tokyo.

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Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno has called on residents of eastern Japan affected by the electricity crisis to save energy.

“We are asking for your cooperation … such as setting the thermostat at around 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit) and turning off any unnecessary lights,” Matsuno told a news conference.

He added that the demand for energy savings is not likely to extend beyond Tuesday in light of the expected rise in temperatures and the addition of more solar power generation with improved weather conditions.

“I use the heater a lot, so I will try to do my part to save energy,” Shuntaro Ishinabe, a 22-year-old university student, told Reuters.

Last week’s earthquake knocked out six thermal plants at Tepco and Tohoku Electric Power Co’s (9506.T) Hagiuda said damage to equipment can remain idle for weeks or months.

TEPCO said that 100% of the power generation capacity is expected to be used to meet peak demand in its service area between 4-5 pm. It has ordered seven regional utilities to provide an electrical supply of 1.42 million kilowatts to ease the crisis.

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(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi and Kantaro Komiya); Additional reporting by Ritsuko Shimizu, Sakura Murakami, and Irene Chang; Written by Chang Ran Kim Editing by Christian Schmolinger and Michael Berry

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.