It is considered inevitable that demand for electric power will increase dramatically as artificial intelligence replaces human intellectual labor with the progress of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Human brains are extremely energy-efficient. When a person thinks in a concentrated manner, his or her brain consumes a mere 21 watts of electricity. But AI doing the same degree of intensive thinking requires over 10,000 times more electricity.

If that is the case, the international competitiveness of businesses will depend on factors concerning the supply and cost of electricity in their home country. How, then, does Japan stand with regard to power supply and cost?

Electricity rates in 2018 for industries were higher in Japan than in any other OECD member nations except Italy, and about three times higher than in Norway, the lowest among OECD countries. In countries like Canada and Norway, which are rich in water resources, the cost of generating power is far lower than in nations that rely mainly on thermal and nuclear power.