Three years ago this month, we were huddled in an evacuation center in Western Japan, bracing for the next aftershock.
A television flickered to life, and a newsreader wearing a bright yellow helmet, announced that there had been explosions at a nuclear power plant a 100 miles away. In the days and weeks that followed there were extended power outages. People in the Kanto area were advised not to waste electricity. Escalators stopped working at metro stations, lighting in public buildings was reduced to a bare minimum.
Japan's power situation then turned from bad to worse as all its nuclear plants were shut down one-by-one. Import of fossil fuel shot up.
What is the situation now?
The loss of nuclear capacity resulted in a shift in Japan's energy mix toward oil and natural gas. Japan is now the third largest oil consumer and importer in the world behind the United States and China. It also ranks as the world's largest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and second largest importer of coal behind China.
|(source - EIA, 2013)|
The import comes to about 18 quadrillion (10^15) BTU every year.
How long can this be sustained?
- EIA on Japan - http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=13711
- EIA on India -- http://www.eia.gov/countries/cab.cfm?fips=IN
- Japan - Rising Trade Deficit -- http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-26/japan-record-annual-trade-deficit-shows-import-drag-on-recovery.html
- Difference between CNG / LPG / LNG -- http://www.afsglobal.com/faq/gas-comparisons.html