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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Ratio of energy sources won't have to be revealed

December 4, 2015

Utilities not required to reveal electricity sources under new ministry rules

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201512040071

By SHINYA TAKAGI/ Staff Writer

Power companies will not be required to disclose the ratio of their electricity sources when the liberalization of power sales begins in April, The Asahi Shimbun has learned.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will not impose the requirement as utilities are cautious about the disclosure.

Consequently, consumers will not know the ratio of electricity sources when they are deciding which company to buy power from.

The ministry plans to solicit feedback on the policy from a panel of experts and the public by year-end before finalizing the guidelines, which are based on the Electric Utility Industry Law.

Under the new guidelines, which take effect early next year, when utilities begin sales promotions ahead of the deregulation, they will not be obligated to provide a ratio of their electricity sources, which include nuclear power and renewable energies.

The guidelines will encourage utilities to voluntarily disclose their ratio of electricity sources, although they will not be required to do so. The guidelines describe this admission and the voluntary disclosure of carbon dioxide emissions as “desirable acts.”

The guidelines do not mention disclosure of the amount of radioactive waste generated.

Power companies that volunteer the information will be required to provide the planned ratio and the actual ratio because electricity generation often cannot be implemented as planned.

Renewable energies that use the feed-in-tariff (FIT) system will be described as, for example, “FIT electricity (solar).”

In European countries such as Britain, Germany and France, where liberalized electricity retailing has already been established, power companies are required to provide the ratio of their electricity sources for the previous year.

In Japan, consumers’ groups and other organizations have been demanding that the ministry require utilities to disclose the ratio.

However, electric power companies are wary, arguing that disclosure would increase costs. It is also believed they fear that consumers will shun utilities that generate electricity through nuclear power or coal-fired thermal power.

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