Nearly nine months after the March 11 disasters, power-generating capacity in many parts of Japan may still not be up to demand, according to Eric Johnston’s Nov. 29 article, “Utilities to cut it close amid winter demand.” In the name of power conservation, individuals are being asked to sacrifice comfort and health, and businesses are being given another reason to move offshore.
Is this the new normal for Japan?
Now that nuclear power is considered patently dangerous by the public, and given Japan’s reliance on nuclear power, this outcome is predictable. So, what can be done to fill the power demand?
So-called “renewable” energy sources, such as wind and solar, are extremely expensive and cannot provide base-load generating capacity. They can never stand on their own as they always need to be backed up with conventional sources. The public will not accept moving back to nuclear power in the foreseeable future, so the only choice is to fill their demand with conventional sources.
Luckily the strong yen has given Japan an excellent opportunity: cheap energy imports. Recent advancements in hydraulic fracturing have opened up enormous reserves of natural gas, which burns much cleaner than coal. It is the best mix of price and reliability currently available. Real economic growth will not be possible without a cheap, steady supply of electricity.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.