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Options for the Japanese energy mix by 2050: -
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy and Climate Studies, ECS. (Energy Technology)
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
- : - (English)
Abstract [en]

The Great East Japan earthquake and the resulting tsunami struck Japan east coast on March 11th 2011. All nuclear power plants on the east coast were automatically shut down, and several thermal plants were damaged: Japan was left with only 19% of its nuclear capacity available (i.e. 9 GW). The Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant underwent major incidents, with a fusion of the nuclear core and radioactivity leakage, the most important nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

During the summer 2011, the Japanese government undertook emergency measures to offset the expected 20% capacity shortage in Tokyo and Tohoku areas. On the supply side, capacity was recovered by restarting and restoring fossil-fuelled power generation, and importing power from neighboring areas. On the demand side, stringent demand restriction measures led to a summer peak demand 10 GW lower in the Tokyo area and 3.1 GW lower in the Tohoku area, compared to 2010.

In early 2012, only 2 reactors were still in operation, after further nuclear shutdowns. Market-driven electricity conservation reforms and subsidy-driven supply capacity additions aim to avoid emergency measures in the summer 2012 similar to those of summer 2011, and offset the expected 9% power deficit in the country.

For the longer term, Japan government has launched various initiatives to review the 2010 Basic Energy Plan, which envisaged a nuclear expansion. In this study, a model was developed to assess the economic and environmental impacts of three contrasted scenarios, reflecting different options for Japan’s electricity mix by 2050.

The results show that a nuclear phase-out would induce additional costs of the order of €850bn to the power system over the period 2010-50, compared to the Basic Energy Plan, while also preventing Japan to reach its CO2 emissions’ reduction targets by 2050. A sensitivity analysis shows that a reduced renewables development would lower the cost of the power system, but put aside climate change mitigation and energy security of supply. On the other hand, a reduced electricity demand through energy efficiency measures would have a positive impact on both CO2 emissions and the security of supply.    

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 68 p.
Keyword [en]
Fukushima, nuclear power, Japan, energy mix, 2050, economic and environmental impact
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-104190OAI: diva2:563370
Subject / course
Energy and Climate Studies
Educational program
Master of Science - Engineeering Physics
2012-10-05, Skype, Personal, Paris, 22:51 (English)
Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics


Available from: 2012-10-31 Created: 2012-10-29 Last updated: 2012-10-31Bibliographically approved

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