Japan turning to smart grid technology after tsunami

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Austin, March 15, 2012 — After the March 11, 2011 tsunami caused massive blackouts and a meltdown at a key nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan has now started to focus on smart grid technology, according to a report from Zpryme Research & Consulting.

The report, titled "Japan: Tsunami Wakens the Smart Grid," projects that the smart grid market will grow at an annual rate of 63.8 percent from 2011 to 2016 from this year's $1 billion to $7.4 billion, with electricity generation will grow from 1.04 billion kWh to 1.09 KWh.

"Continuing power shortages promise to raise awareness and demand for smart grid implementation," according to the report. The trend will be enhanced by the shift in consciousness of what a smart grid in Japan will encompass."

A total of $1.7 trillion will be invested for electricity modernization over the next 18 years, including investments in advanced transmission infrastructure and smart grid.

Japan's government has ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co. to invite bids for companies to install 17 million smart meters by 2019, an initiative to reduce electric operating costs by $1.3 billion over the next 10 years.

Tepco already has tapped the services of Toshiba, GE, Fuji Electric, Hitachi, Panasonic and Osaki Electric in the Yokohama Smart City Project, one of Japan's four smart cities designed to establish the country as a global leader in designing smart grids, according to the report.

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