Power-Down: Will We Be Able To Avoid Rolling Blackouts?

A very interesting "power-down" experience: we may actually be able to avoid the planned power outages (called "rolling blackouts" as the schedule is decided in advance). Right now, in the middle of spring, Tokyo and the Kanto region is not using that much electricity. The main worry is the consumption peaks in the summer. Yet, if we have the blackouts, it will clearly hit the economy big-time.

While I need power to work (and pay taxes) there are pachinko parlours and all kinds of useless ways to waste electricity. Who gets to decide who is a friend and who is a foe..?

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry intends this month to end Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s rolling blackouts, sources said Wednesday, according to The Japan Times:

To conserve power, METI plans to instead urge large-lot corporate users to limit their use of electricity in the summer, when demand typically peaks because of the need for air conditioning, the sources said. The ministry will aim to slash demand 25 percent from last summer, they said.

If the plan is enforced, it would be the first time for Japan to invoke such compulsory power consumption restrictions since the oil crisis in 1974.

"We will seek to obviate the need for rolling blackouts," industry minister Banri Kaieda told Wednesday's Lower House Committee on Economy and Industry.

Meanwhile, Tepco said it will dispense with rolling blackouts for a 10th straight day Thursday due to warmer weather and as a result of beefing up its power supply capacity.


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