Power crunches are increasingly common in Japan, and shortages of natural gas are the new reality. For the first time ever, the government has embarked on a review on what measures can be taken to conserve use of the fuel.
METI hasn’t elaborated on the reasons why Japan is suddenly taking such a course. The ministry’s external advisors, however, have been more forthcoming: there’s a risk of Japan losing access to Russian supplies of LNG, which are about 10% of the nation’s total.
Devising gas conservation measures isn’t straightforward. In the past decade, the rising frequency of short-term shortages of electricity supply have helped forge an evolving government, business and now even household response. The topic even airs on morning chat shows.
The regulatory basis for gas is quite different. While the Electricity Business Act urges operators to “serve the public interest and ensure supply security,” the Gas Business Act aims to “maintain gas pipeline networks and to enhance users’ benefit.” What this means in practice is….