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2011年7月23日 (土)

電力不足―西日本も、さあ節電だ

2011/07/23
-- The Asahi Shimbun, July 22
EDITORIAL: Western Japan needs to save power this summer
電力不足―西日本も、さあ節電だ

On July 20, the government hastily requested people and businesses in jurisdictions served by Kansai, Hokuriku, Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu electric power companies to save electricity this summer.
 政府は関西、北陸、中国、四国、九州の電力5社に対し、20日になって急きょ、この夏の節電を要請した。

Although the request is not a binding directive to limit the use of electricity as is the case with areas serviced by Tokyo and Tohoku electric power companies, this summer, Japan is facing a crisis that requires the entire nation to do everything it can to save electricity.
 東京、東北電力管内のような強制力のある電力使用制限令ではないが、この夏は列島あげて節電に全力をあげなければならない事態になった。

There are rising concerns that western Japan may also face a power shortage.
 西日本でも電力不足が懸念されるのは、

This is because the outlook for the supply of electricity to meet demand suddenly became tight.
At a time when prospects for the restart of nuclear power plants undergoing routine inspections remain dim, a reactor at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s nuclear power plant and a thermal power plant of Chugoku Electric Power Co. came to a halt because of certain difficulties.
定期検査で停止中の原発の再稼働が見込めないなか、関電の原発と中国電の火力発電所がトラブルで止まり、電力需給の見通しが一気にひっぱくしたからだ。

In western Japan, no major power plants were damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
 西日本には震災で壊れた大規模発電所はないし、

Since many areas in western Japan share the same frequency, it is easier for electric utilities to accommodate each other with surplus electricity.
同じ周波数の地域が広く、電力の融通もしやすい。

Still, if demand for electricity reaches the same level as last year, when demand peaks, the five companies as a whole are expected to face a power shortage, according to the government.
それでも昨年並みの電力需要があれば、5社合計ではピーク時に電力不足に陥りそうだという。

The situation is particularly serious in the region covered by Kansai Electric, which relies on nuclear power plants for about 50 percent of its total power generation.
とりわけ、発電量の約5割を原発で賄ってきた関電が深刻だ。

It is clear that by counting on the restart of nuclear power plants, both the government and the power companies failed to come up with an effective measure to deal with a possible electricity shortage.
 原発の再稼働をあてにしているうちに、政府も電力会社も対策が後手に回ったのは明らかだ。

When it comes to a lack of preparations to create a system to save energy, it can be said that western Japan is in a tighter bind than eastern Japan.
節電体制づくりの準備不足という点では、西日本の方がむしろ厳しい展開と言える。

But there is a limit to what people and businesses can do at this juncture.
 ただ、今からできることは限られている。

For now, users have no choice but to use every conceivable means to save as much electricity as possible.
当面はありとあらゆる節電でしのぐしかない。

The important thing is to avoid concentration of electricity use during peak-use daytime periods.
 要は、暑さの厳しい時間帯に電力使用が集中しないようにすることだ。

For that, users need to talk the matter over in local communities, the workplace and at home to come up with workable ideas.
そのためには、地域や職場、家庭で相談して、工夫を凝らしていく必要がある。

Western Japan is far from the earthquake-stricken areas.
 もともと、西日本は大震災の被災地から遠い。

Foreseeing a shortage of electricity in eastern Japan, some companies even moved their production centers and office functions to western Japan.
企業の中には東日本の電力不足を見越して、わざわざ西日本へ生産拠点や管理部門を移したところもあるくらいだ。

All the more because residents in western Japan were not damaged from the March 11 disaster, they must be wondering why they must conserve.
地震の実感がないぶん、住民は「なぜ節電なのか」という思いだろう。

Still, they must come to face to face with reality that saving electricity is indispensable.
 それでも、節電が不可欠な現実と向き合わねばならない。

Above all, for effective energy saving, it is important that the government and electric utilities properly release information on supply capabilities and demands.
 何より効果的な節電をするには、政府や電力会社が供給能力や需要動向に関する情報をきちんと開示することだ。

In particular, in the Kansai region where a shortage is most feared, concerned parties are setting different targets for saving electricity.
The government calls for "10 percent or more," Kansai Electric "15 percent" and the union of Kansai governments comprising local governments "5 to 10 percent."
 とくに最も不足が心配される関西ではいま、政府が「10%以上」、関電が「15%」、自治体でつくる関西広域連合が「5~10%」と、ばらばらな目標値を設定している。

Under such circumstances, it is difficult for residents to know how much electricity is in short supply and how much heat they have to endure.
 これでは、住民は本当に足りない電力がどのくらいなのか、どれだけ暑さを我慢しなければならないのか、わかりにくい。

As it is, public distrust is mounting against the government for repeatedly changing policies without proper planning for electricity usage and utilities which cannot part with a dishonest corporate culture as symbolized in the case of Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s fake e-mail messages that were sent to support nuclear power to meet the company's objective.
 ただでさえ、計画性を欠いた政策変更を繰り返す政府と、九電のやらせメールに象徴されるような企業体質を引きずる電力会社に対し、国民の不信感は募っているのだ。

More substantial numbers and easy-to-understand explanations are needed for people and businesses to ride out the feared power shortage this summer.
 もっと根拠のある数字と、納得できる説明が要る。

These are the minimum requirements.
それが夏を乗り切る最低条件になる。

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