Even as new renewable energy projects come online and changes in the law designed to increase competition and use power generated from all sources more efficiently start to come into effect this year, predictions for the nation's energy landscape show total energy consumption slightly down.

However, the real issue is how many idled nuclear reactors will be restarted in 2014. At present, the nation's 50 viable reactors are offline, a legacy of the Fukushima meltdown calamity that started on March 11, 2011.

The economic impact such restarts will have, regardless of whether nuclear energy will still be cost-competitive with liquefied natural gas, which Japan is pushing to increase, and, most importantly, what will happen to the atomic waste the restarted reactors generate, are all questions that must be addressed in the coming months.