Japan paused this past Sunday at 2:46pm to recall the earthquake-induced tsunami that struck its northeastern coast on March 11, 2011. Much has been learned from last year’s tsunami and now government agencies and residents are becoming better equipped to handle another natural disaster.
In the wake of the crisis Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) was ordered by the government to invite bids from both domestic and foreign firms for approximately 17 million smart meters by 2019, according to the Nikkei newspaper. The smart meter initiative is part of a blueprint to slim $1.3 billion in electric operating costs over the next 10 years. Companies such as Toshiba, GE, Fuji Electric, Hitachi, Panasonic, and Osaki Electric are already engaged with TEPCO on the Yokohama Smart City Project (YSCOP). YSCOP is one of four Smart Cities in Japan designed to establish the country as a global leader in designing Smart Grids.
Smart Grid technology is the focus in Japan after last year’s tsunami caused massive blackouts and meltdowns at a key nuclear power plant. Supply has since stabilized, however parts of the country including Tokyo are still closely monitoring daily power consumption and utilities are asking customers to limit power use. Already a focus for the future of Japan, a forward-looking leader in technology and green information technology, the disaster has brought Smart Grid to the forefront of the agenda for Japan’s government, technology and utility companies, and the public psyche alike. All the data points toward a Japanese Smart Grid technology market projected to reach $7.4 billion in 2016.
Read the full Zpryme industry report here: Japan: Tsunami Wakens the Smart Grid