Unifying Japan’s power grids is “unrealistic” – study

8 years ago by in Featured, Japan

Uniting Japan’s two different power systems is unrealistic, as it would cost about Y10 trillion and it would require consumers that use private generators or motors to replace equipment. The statement was made by the Natural Resources and Energy Agency in a study about energy demand issues.

”Considering such issues, it is difficult to set the unification of 50 hertz and 60 hertz as a realistic option,” the agency said, according to Kyodo.

Japan’s particular electrical network is split in two parts, which require conversion facilities to transfer energy from one to the other. Because the country only has three such facilities, the quantity of energy that can be shared between the west and the east is limited at about 1 million kilowatts.

In the wake of the natural disasters which triggered an energy crisis last year, experts began to analyze the possibility of unifying the two different systems or at least making them more compatible.

The situation is a holdover from the 19th century, when power was provided only by local, small scale ventures. The Tokyo entrepreneurs who were already in the business decided to expand by importing generators from Germany, which were working on a frequency of 50 Hz. Meanwhile, local providers from Osaka brought in generators from the U.S. that were using 60 Hz.