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Energy

Japan scrambles to avoid blackout as cold wave grips East Asia

Utilities ask consumers to conserve energy as electricity and LNG prices spike

Electricity is in short supply in Japan in the midst of an unseasonably cold winter. (Source photos by Kyodo and Reuters) 

TOKYO -- Amid high electricity demand due to unseasonably cold weather and tight liquefied natural gas supply, Japan is scrambling to prevent a national blackout by calling on power companies to generate more and the public to use less.

Peak electricity demand in the country is about 90% more than expected supply on Tuesday and as high as 97% in the northern Tohoku area, according to OCCTO, a Japanese organization that coordinates and oversees power transmission in the country. This unusually cold winter, combined with short supply of solar energy and LNG for thermal power plants, are all factors that have led to such a dire shortage.

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