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Japan’s energy conservation success, post Fukushima

energy-efficiency-manHow Japan Discovered Conservation: Fukushima  Forbes, 6 Jan 13, Japan lost a quarter of its electric capacity when it shuttered its nuclear reactors in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. Predicted blackouts have not materialized, though, thanks to a national conservation effort that reduced demand by as much as 15 percent….. “People did everything they could,” said Okamura. “To minimize air conditioning, they raised thermostats in homes, offices and stores to 83 degrees Fahrenheit, as the government asked. They set every appliance and electronic device to the most energy-efficient settings. They kept the lights off as much as possible. Escalators were shut off.”

The Japanese also benefitted from heavy rains that boosted hydropower and unusually reliable fossil-fuel generators, he said.

Although America may seem an odd place to study energy conservation—per capita energy use has increased 50 percent here in 40 years, conservation is even less natural to Japan, according to Okamura, and California, in particular, may provide a useful model. Defying the trend in the rest of the United States, Californians have kept their energy consumption per capital at about the same level since 1974, according to the Washington Post. “People did everything they could,” said  Toshiya Okamuraof Tokyo Gas. “To minimize air conditioning, they raised thermostats in homes, offices and stores to 83 degrees Fahrenheit, as the government asked. They set every appliance and electronic device to the most energy-efficient settings. They kept the lights off as much as possible. Escalators were shut off.”

The Japanese also benefitted from heavy rains that boosted hydropower and unusually reliable fossil-fuel generators, he said…..

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January 7, 2013 - Posted by | ENERGY, Japan

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