People in Japan turned off neon signs, dimmed lights and adjusted the temperature on March 22 after the government issued an urgent appeal to save energy to avoid power outages following the earthquake. out last week, causing severe power shortages.
Up to 3 million households faced the risk of power outages on the evening of March 22, as Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) warned of tight supply and soaring demand as snow fell across Tokyo and heat wavered. temperature drops to 2 degrees Celsius.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) said that the whole country will likely avoid power outages until late evening. Public broadcaster NHK shared that authorities were still warning that the country with the world’s third largest economy could still face power outages.
A 7.4-magnitude earthquake last week off the northeast coast prompted authorities to temporarily cut power to about 2 million homes, including hundreds of thousands in Tokyo.
The earthquake that struck last week left many households in Japan without power.
Earlier, on March 22, Trade Minister Koichi Hagiuda shared: “With this situation, we are getting close to having to conduct a power cut similar to what happened after the earthquake.“.
Hagiuda said the quake affected six thermal power plants, shutting them down in areas operated by Tepco and Tohoku Electric Power Co and the damage could cause some of them to fail. have to shut down for a few weeks or even months.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno earlier urged people in eastern Japan affected by the energy crisis to contribute in some way by lowering their thermostats to around 20 degrees Celsius and turning off lights when it’s not quiet. necessary, needs. And many people have responded to that call.
National broadcaster NHK has dimmed studio lights while electronics retailer Bic Camera has turned off about half of the televisions at dozens of its branches. The 634-meter-tall Tokyo Skytree turns off its lights for the first time all day, and Tokyo tower operators in the city center light up only the lower half of the tower.
Tokyo Tower also responds to energy saving.
Find the way to overcome
Retail giant Seven & I Holdings said 8,500 7-Eleven store branches had set their thermostats to 20 degrees Celsius – one degree cooler than usual – while Ito-Yokado supermarkets reduced the light by 10 %.
Nissan Motor said it used an in-house generator for 13 hours at its factory north of the capital. Many consumers have also played a part in it. “I use heaters a lot so I will try to do something to save energy“, said university student Shuntaro Ishinabe, 22 years old.
Matsuno, a government spokesman, said the energy-saving requirement would be unlikely to last beyond March 22, as temperatures are expected to rise and the addition of more solar power as the weather warms. up.
Japan has faced a tough energy market since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami crippled Tepco’s Fukushima Daiichi plant, triggering the deadliest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, leading to to the shutdown of most of Japan’s nuclear reactors.
With energy prices soaring due to tight global supplies, many are calling for the government to quickly restart nuclear plants. Mr. Masakazu Tokura, Chairman of Keidanren said: “Sudden power outages cause a lot of problems and I think (the public) has really seen the importance of energy security in recent events..
With a larger trend towards becoming carbon neutral and cutting greenhouse gases, I believe there will be more difficulties unless we restart nuclear power plants quickly.“.
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