Tokyo Faces Tight Power Supply on Scorching Heat, Outages

image is BloomburgMedia_SG96FLDWLU6800_08-07-2024_12-29-26_638559936000000000.jpg

Pedestrians shelter from the sun under a parasol as they cross a street in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday, July 4, 2024. The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued heatstroke alerts for Tokyo and 14 other prefectures on Thursday. Photographer: Soichiro Koriyama/Bloomberg

Hotter-than-normal summer temperatures are stretching the Tokyo grid, prompting the metropolitan region’s utility to urge consumers to use electricity efficiently.

The day-ahead spot price for the Tokyo region spiked to 21.9 yen per kilowatt-hour on Monday, the highest level since Feb. 2023. The city’s mean temperature could reach 30C on Monday, compared with the 30-year normal of 24C, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

A hot start to summer across the northern hemisphere threatens to boost power demand and tighten global supplies of fuel like gas and coal. The LNG market is already finely balanced, and prolonged heat in Japan threatens to push prices higher in Asia and Europe. 

Unplanned maintenance also curbed available power generation across Japan. A 413-megawatt unit was shut at a gas-fired Kawasaki power plant on Monday, while a 300-megawatt unit at the gas-fired Kashima Kyodo facility will be closed until Tuesday, according to data compiled by the Japan Electric Power Exchange.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. warned power supply was tight, while Japan’s grid coordinator ordered a neighboring utility to share 200 megawatts of capacity. Jera, a venture between Tepco and Chubu Electric Power Co., increased power generation at several plants by nearly 400 megawatts to meet demand in the Tokyo area on Monday.


The day-ahead power price for Tokyo rose 13% on Monday, while the nationwide rate hit 18.5 yen, the highest since Sept. 2023.

The so-called imbalance price, which is a charge that occurs when the amount of power supply doesn’t match the planned demand submitted by retailers, rose to nearly 200 yen per kilowatt-hour in Tokyo at 9 a.m. The price dropped down to about 30 yen as of 1:30 p.m., indicating that supply tightness was easing from earlier in the day.

Pleas for power conservation have become common during summer and winter months when demand peaks, but Japanese authorities have said there is enough capacity for this season. 

(Updates with Jera increasing power supply in fifth paragraph.)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

By Shoko Oda


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