Japan oil use down as nuclear power boosted

Japan’s ten regional energy companies used less oil in July as more nuclear power was generated, according to new figures released today by the Federation of Electric Power Companies (FEPC) […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Japan’s ten regional energy companies used less oil in July as more nuclear power was generated, according to new figures released today by the Federation of Electric Power Companies (FEPC) of Japan.

The group includes ten privately-owned firms including the owner of the ravaged Fukushima nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco). Since the disaster in April 2011, most of the country’s nuclear plants closed, leaving a significant capacity gap which has had to be filled with more coal, oil and gas.

The companies’ use of heavy oil dropped to 1.09 million kilolitres, roughly a tenth less than in July 2012. In contrast nuclear capacity rose, with a year-on-year increase of 77.3% to 1.78 billion kWh.

Overall the amount of electricity generated and bought in July 2013 rose by 1.7% from a year earlier to 83.21 billion kWh.

The FEPC said this was due “mainly to increased cooling demands” compared with last year, with a rise in demand for air-conditioning after higher temperatures in the summer month.

Hydroelectric generation dropped by 10.4% from last year to 6.23 billion kWh due mainly to lower flow rates.