Tackling power outages in Japan: The earthquake compels a swift transformation of the power supply

Yasuhiro Fukushima, Yasunori Kikuchi, Yuya Kajikawa, Mitsuhiro Kubota, Takao Nakagaki, Masahiko Matsukata, Yukitaka Kato, Michihisa Koyama

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    This article discusses the directions for energy systems based on an urgent proposal to counter the energy crisis in eastern Japan, published from the Society of Chemical Engineers, Japan. We first illustrate the situation Japan faces, highlighting the urgency and seriousness of the consequences of power outages in industry and daily life. Then, we elaborate on the necessity for policy support to trigger collective actions to temporarily practice countermeasures that would not necessarily save resources or that could disrupt society's established routines. In this way, Japan can choose technologies without regret based on society-wide discussions on the future energy supply. Finally, we warn of the drawbacks induced by shortsighted decisions e.g., avoiding power outages by depending on less-efficient gas turbines. We conclude that Japan should commence a transition of its energy systems rather than compromising resource efficiency and grid robustness over the next decades.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)365-369
    Number of pages5
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • General Chemistry
    • General Chemical Engineering


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