I’ll be watching this story really closely over the next year…
Some issues which will come up include:
‘On Tuesday, office workers made their contribution with the start, one month earlier than usual, of the annual “cool biz” drive to reduce energy use. But swapping suits and ties for short-sleeved shirts, and turning down air conditioners will be easy for as long as Japan enjoys mild spring temperatures. The biggest test of their post-Fukushima resolve has yet to come.’
Environmental impact from increased fossil fuel usage (mainly gas and coal)
‘Japan, already the world’s biggest importer of liquefied natural gas, bought record amounts of LNG last year to replace nuclear. The international energy agency estimates the closure of all nuclear plants will increase Japanese demand for oil to 4.5m barrels a day, at an additional cost of about US$100m a day.’
‘Before the 11 March disaster, Japan relied on nuclear power for about 30% of its electricity, and there were plans to increase its share to more than 50% by 2030 with the construction of new reactors.
In a report released this week, the government’s national policy unit projected a 5% power shortage for Tokyo, while power companies predict a 16% power shortfall in western Japan, which includes the major industrial city of Osaka.’
Renewable energy and energy efficiency
Japan aims to reduce the impact of removing the contribution of nuclear energy.
‘They will be buoyed by a new environment ministry panel’s assertion that Japan can still reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030 from 1990 levels without nuclear, through energy saving and the quicker adoption of renewables, which it hopes will account for between 25% and 35% of total power generation by 2030.’