Next-generation Energy Policy (2)
A consumer-led next-generation energy system
May 26, 2011
The first installment in this series of proposals (“Next-generation Energy Policy (1)”) described measures to resolve the gap between electricity supply and demand this summer, but the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 Power Plant will continue to affect the electric power supply system beyond this summer. Operations at the No. 1 Power Plant itself will, of course, remain suspended, but building new nuclear power plants and expansion of existing plants as anticipated in Japan’s long-term energy plan, and restarting the plants currently shut down for inspection will also be difficult in the present climate. The time is ripe for a radical review, not only of the problem of the electricity supply shortfall but also the management of electrical power generation itself, given Japan’s vulnerability to natural disasters and low energy self-sufficiency rate. The energy sector is also a breeding ground for high value-added business opportunities such as the creation of smart grids.
Given these conditions, it is important that we not only consider measures that will allow Japan to survive this summer but also consider energy systems from a medium-to-long term perspective. We will be putting forward proposals relating to next-generation energy systems in a number of installments, and this report will set out the basic thinking on which the proposals will be based.