Will there be enough energy this summer in Kansai?

April 13, 2012 8:41 AM

The government is eager to restart the Oi nuclear power plant. The reason is that there may be an energy supply shortage in Kansai if the plant is not restarted, but will this really happen?

Here are the statistics from the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP).

The performance of Kansai's power supply in 2011:

Hydropower    2,250,000kW
Thermal power generation  14,150,000kW
Other accomodation    5,220,000kW
Pumped storage generation   4,480,000kW
Nuclear power  3,370,000kW
Total     29.470,000kW

In contrast, the demand was 28,840,000 kW.

The government predicts that this summer's supply will largely exceed that of last year's with a total of 31,380,000 kW.

The power supply predictions for this summer:

Hydropower   1,930,000kW
Thermal power generation  14,720,000kW
Other accomodation    6,380,000kW
Pumped storage generation  1,850,000 - 2,700,000kW
Total    24,890,000 - 25,740,000kW

According to this supply prediction, the amount of private power purchased from Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) is 830 thousand kW. However, this number is based on the assumption that energy exceeding the 1000 kW generation capacity is purchased at the price of 15-20 yen per kWh.

According to the calculations of the ISEP, the private power generation capacity of KEPCO exceeds 7 million Kw, and if the purchasing price is raised, for example, by ¥50 then it becomes possible to generate a substantial amount of money. If the price is raised even further, the installed capacity of private power generation less than 1,000 Kw may be available for purchase.

The private power generation capacity available for purchase in Western Japan is 20 million Kw, which is then augmented by introducing the amount of gas cogeneration that is currently not open for purchase.

In addition, the surplus power supply of Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc., Chugoku Electric Power Co., Inc., and Shikoku Electric Power Co., Inc. is expected to exceed 8 million Kw.

The capacity of pumped storage power is 4.3 million Kw, making supply adjustment during peak hours fully possible.

According to the government's supply forecast, within hydroelectric power generation the Kurobegawa Daini 1-3 unit and the shin-Kurobegawa Daini 1-2 unit are expected to undergo a mid-summer periodic inspection or construction, but these plans will be moved ahead of schedule.

Regarding thermal power generation, it is expected that a portion will undergo periodic inspection sometime during this summer.

Furthermore on the demand side, we see various policies to drop demand during its peak time with 2 million Kw.

In addition, it is supposed that the supply and demand adjustment contract will be greater than 880 thousand Kw.

The peak demand for KEPCO in 2010 was 30.95 million kW, but the amount of time the demand was above 29.95 million kW, or within the one million kW range from the peak demand, was only 30 hours in one year. That is merely 0.3% of the entire year. If we can cut the peak of 30 hours, then the necessary power supply can be decreased by one million kW.

Instead of scurrying to restart nuclear plants, the government should meticulously examine such things beforehand and indicate the reserve power supply of KEPCO's tube to its citizens.