METI Addresses Summertime Power Problems
Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has been budgeted to fill the electricity supply-demand gap this summer season in the Kanto and Tohoku regions, according to a summary of the FY 2011 Primary Supplementary Budget released in May 2011. To curb power demand, 4 billion yen (US$ 48 million) was earmarked for an electricity saving campaign targeting consumers and industries, and 3.7 billion yen (US$ 45 million) for projects to support electricity savings targeting small businesses.
Specifically targeting small businesses, METI plans to dispatch experts such as licensed electrical engineers to individual businesses with high voltage electric power receiving facilities to give them advice on applicable energy saving measures while to support the ones with low voltage electric power receiving facilities to create their own voluntary action plans to make sure they do everything they can to save electricity.
Meanwhile, to improve electricity supply capacity METI submitted the first supplementary budget bill of 10 billion yen (US$ 120 million) to subsidize the cost of installing and augmenting private power generation facilities. The ministry also submitted the first supplementary budget bill of 100 million yen (US$ 1.2 million) to draw up a time schedule and a master plan to expand the interconnection equipment that enables electricity interchange between the Chubu and Tokyo Service Areas, Hokkaido and the Tohoku Service Areas, and other interconnections.