There have been frequent cases in southwestern Japan’s Kyushu region where the electricity generated from renewable energy sources, such as solar power, has gone unused. On some days, as much as the equivalent of four nuclear reactors-worth of generating capacity is being wasted without being transmitted. Why is this happening when the government is supposed to be aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050 and making renewable energy the main power source? To maintain a balance between electricity supply and demand, power companies conduct “output control,” requesting generating firms to temporarily curtail power generation when electricity usage is low. This is the case, for example, in spring and autumn when the use of air conditioning is reduced. If the supply-demand balance is upset by continuing to generate and send out electricity even though demand is low, in the worst-case scenario it could cause a large-scale blackout.
Mainichi 13th June 2021 read more »