Japan's electricity demand has slumped after a state of emergency was declared on 7 April to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. The falls came despite unusually cold weather this month and a possible rise in heating demand.
Japan's power consumption averaged 2.2mn MWh on 22 April, down by 8.3pc compared with 2.4mn MWh on 1 April, according to the country's power agency the organisation for cross-regional co-ordination of transmission operator. Demand in Tokyo alone fell by 15.1pc to 680,428MWh over the period.
Electricity consumption over 1-22 April averaged 2.2mn MWh/d, which was lower by 1.8pc compared with 2.24mn MWh/d for all of April last year. Power demand for this month is still forecast at 2.2mn MWh/d, assuming the impact of the coronavirus will continue for the rest of April. But the theoretical demand for April is still higher than 2.1mn MWh/d in May last year when temperatures were higher than April.
The fall in electricity demand came despite colder than normal weather throughout Japan this month. Temperatures in Tokyo averaged 12.3°C during 1-22 April compared with the area's long-term average of 13.9°C for April.
Japan's electricity demand has been pressured by the state of emergency, which calls on residents to refrain from going out to avoid the further spread of the coronavirus. It has also shut offices, leisure facilities, shops and some manufacturers including steel mills and vehicle production sites. The declaration initially covered seven prefectures, including the main cities of Tokyo and Osaka, at first, which was extended nationwide on 16 April.
Weakening power demand will dampen demand for thermal generation fuels, such as coal, LNG and oil. Japanese power producers used 7.5mn t of coal, 3.6mn t of LNG and 43,990 b/d of oil in April 2019 against 2.24mn MWh/d of power demand. Consumption of coal, LNG and oil the following month fell to 7.2mn t, 3.2mn t and 27,038 b/d, while power demand dropped to 2.1mn MWh/d amid warmer weather.
The fuel and power demand data indicates Japanese power producers cutting their use of thermal fuels this month against a year earlier, although available nuclear capacity is lower by 1,470MW, or 35,280MWh/d, compared with a year earlier. But they are likely to keep April consumption above May 2019 levels, given normal or colder than normal weather is forecast for the rest of this month. (Argus Media)
Copyright © 2013 Ferro-Alloys.Com. All Rights Reserved. Without permission, any unit and individual shall not copy or reprint!