On April 11, the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability published a report entitled The Path from Fukushima: Short and Medium-term Impacts of the Reactor Damage Caused by the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami on Japan’s Electricity System (Executive Summary). The document, authored by a team headed by David von Hippel and Kae Takase, looks at an issue that has been frequently overlooked amid radiation concerns and attention to the tsunami-ravaged north – demand for electricity. Will Tokyo and surrounding regions have enough power to fuel revival? How will Japan’s energy industry change in the wake of the Fukushima disaster?
The report predicts:
Under all but the most optimistic supply recovery/expansion scenarios, TEPCO and Tohoku will be unable to meet summer peak power demand in 2011 if peak demand is close to 2009/2010 levels.
It praises efforts by the Japanese population to conserve energy in the wake of the earthquake: Curtailments have thus far been completely avoided in the Tohoku service territory as a result of conservation by citizens, coupled with reduced demand due to the earthquake and tsunami damage. The authors are doubtful, however, that conservation will be enough when energy demand starts to peak during the summer months.