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*

*Corresponding author for this work

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


  • Collective Actions
  • Power Outage
  • Spatial Power Shift
  • Temporal Power Shift
  • Tohoku Earthquake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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