Japan & Australia face extreme weather

Japan & Australia face extreme weather

 Can you turn off the lights for a few hours per day? The request was made by the governments of Japan and Australia to their residents. The heat wave that occurred in Japan has increased electricity consumption. Japan urges residents living around the capital Tokyo to reduce electricity use, especially turning off unnecessary lights for three hours starting at 3 p.m. Meanwhile in Australia, residents in the state of New South Wales, including the city of Sydney, have also been asked not to use electricity from 6pm to 8pm. Both countries have been facing extreme weather in recent times. 

Over the weekend, temperatures in downtown Tokyo surpassed 35 degrees Celsius, while temperatures in Isesaki, which is northwest of Tokyo, hit 40.2 degrees Celsius. This is the record high temperature ever recorded for the whole month of June in Japan In Australia, the cold wave caused temperatures to drop "about six to 10 degrees below normal," Australian Meteorological Agency expert Sarah Scully said on Twitter. There is the same problem behind the push to save electricity in both countries, namely the reduced energy supply. 

The Japanese government expects their energy supply to shrink due to hotter daily temperatures. The push to save electricity has been intensified in recent times, but the Japanese government has been warning for weeks about the threat of an energy crisis due to rising temperatures. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry requested that unnecessary lights be turned off, but that the public could “properly use air conditioning (AC) to hydrate during hot hours” to avoid the effects of dehydration. Last week, the ministry also warned that power generation capacity would decline, reducing its ability to keep electricity supply stable. Australia's dwindling coal supply has prompted the government to ask its residents to save on electricity. Although power producers have made efforts to increase supply, the ministry said the situation was "unpredictable" as temperatures continued to rise.

 "In the event of a spike in demand and disruption to supply, the margin for energy reserves will fall below the safe point of 3%," said Minister Koichi Hagiuda. Meanwhile, Australia's Minister of Energy, Chris Bowen, said people should not use electricity in the afternoon to evening if "at all possible". He also invited residents to save energy as much as possible. But despite such restrictions, Bowen is "confident" the blackout can be avoided.
Japan's energy supply has been running low since an earthquake in the northeast of the country in March brought a number of nuclear power plants to a standstill. They have also closed a number of fossil fuel factories in an effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. 

Meanwhile, in the case of Australia, this country is one of the largest exporters of coal and liquefied natural gas in the world. About 75% of electricity in Australia is generated from coal. The price of electricity has increased in many parts of the world. In recent weeks, Australia has experienced supply disruptions. The floods that hit last year affected a number of coal mines. In addition, a quarter of Australia's coal-fired power generation capacity is no longer operational due to unexpected outages and scheduled maintenance. 

High demand, thin reserves, rising prices The demand for electricity in the two countries has both increased, both due to the use of heating and air conditioning. At the same time, the price of electricity is increasing, and this trend is also happening globally. Over the past year, Europe recorded an increase in electricity. In September, electricity prices hit a record high for several weeks. In Spain, people are not encouraged to turn off the lights at certain times, but there are a number of policies that are believed to change people's electricity consumption habits. Since June 2021, the electricity price scheme is differentiated between peak hours and other hours.

 So, there are times when the cost of electricity is cheaper. For example, using a washing machine is cheaper between 12pm and 8am. While the most expensive electricity costs take place from 10 am to 2 pm, and 6 pm to 10 pm. The policy is implemented when energy reserves are at a low point, and there is a possibility that electricity demand will increase when the supply is insufficient. 

In addition, there was a raw material crisis due to declining supplies once the economy reopened after the restrictions on mobility due to the pandemic eased.
In addition, Russia's invasion of Ukraine added to the length of this cycle of energy shortages and rising prices. A number of power producers have faced spikes in production costs as global coal and gas prices rose due to sanctions imposed on Russia.

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