Image Source: Koshi Online
The government of Japan has urged people in Tokyo and the surrounding area to use less electricity on Monday as the country braces for a heatwave.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry expects “extreme” demand for electricity this afternoon local time.
To avoid heatstroke, it citizens have been advised to turn off extra lights while using the air conditioner. Authorities have been announcing for weeks that there will be a power shortfall when the temperatures rise.
The temperature in central Tokyo surpassed 35 degrees Celsius over the weekend, while Isesaki, a city northwest of the capital, hit a record 40.2 degrees. In Japan, June recorded the highest temperature ever. June is the official start of summer in Japan when maximum temperatures typically fall below 30 degrees Celsius.
According to a statement issued by the ministry on Sunday, the excess power generating capacity in Tokyo and eight nearby prefectures would decrease to 3.7 percent on Monday afternoon. It believes that a 3 percent buffer is required for a steady power supply.
The government of Japan encouraged people to switch off extra lights for three hours starting at 15:00 Tokyo time (07:00 BST) while “properly using air conditioning and hydrating during hot hours.”
Despite efforts to increase supplies by electrical companies, the ministry claimed that the situation was “unpredictable” because of the rising temperatures.
It warned that if there is a rise in demand and unforeseen supply issues, the reserve margin will drop below the minimum required level of 3%. The nation has had a meager supply of electricity ever since certain nuclear power reactors’ activities had to be paused in March owing to an earthquake in Japan’s northeast.
A number of old fossil fuel plants have been shut down by authorities in an effort to lower carbon dioxide emissions. These issues and an increase in energy usage have led to a power shortfall. Earlier this month, the Japanese government urged citizens and companies to consume less electricity throughout the summer.
According to the Japanese public broadcaster NHK, 46 people had been brought to hospitals in Tokyo for what is thought to be heatstroke as of Sunday afternoon. It further stated that a 94-year-old man believed to have died from the ailment lived in the neighboring city of Kawagoe.
Following a request from Australian authorities for homeowners in New South Wales, which contains Sydney, the country’s largest metropolis, to switch off their lights in the event of an energy crisis, the statement was made. Restrictions on the Australian wholesale energy market were loosened late last week.