Disruption, Disaster and Transition: Analysis of Electricity Usage in Japan from 2005 to 2016

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Kelly D'Alessandro
Paul Dargusch
Andrew Chapman


This research analyzes the changes to electricity generation and demand in Japan following both the Global Financial Crisis and Disaster of March 2011. Monthly electricity demand and generation data for all regions of Japan from April 2005 to March 2016 were reviewed to identify differences in disruption-response between different types of electricity users. We apply inferential statistics to identify underlying trends, which we find are dominated by differences in user scale response. Higher capacity users reduced demand in response to the Global Financial Crisis, whereas smaller domestic scale users reduced electricity demand after the Disaster. Analysis reveals that regions within the 50Hz grid that were directly impacted by the Fukushima event and resulting load restrictions showed a statistically significant sustained reduction in monthly electricity demand post-disaster. However, Kansai and Shikoku, regions that are both outside the area directly impacted by the Fukushima event, also showed the same sorts of sustained significant reductions. By considering two disruptions to the same sociotechnical system we can draw conclusions that add to the discourse of electricity use behaviors, which informs both disaster response planning and policy for the broader issues of electricity demand reduction for climate stabilisation. In particular, the results highlight the importance of tailoring engagement and intervention actions to the preferences and needs of different types of electricity users.

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How to Cite
D’Alessandro, K., Dargusch, P., & Chapman, A. (2021). Disruption, Disaster and Transition: Analysis of Electricity Usage in Japan from 2005 to 2016 . International Journal of Sustainable Energy Planning and Management, 31, 143–160. https://doi.org/10.5278/ijsepm.6327
Author Biographies

Paul Dargusch, University of Queensland

Paul Dargusch currently works as an Associate Professor in Environmental Management at The University of Queensland. His research interests cover various fields of environmental studies and environmental change, including tropical forest management, ecological engineering and restoration, energy economics and climate policy, and agricultural development. He has a special interest in environmental markets, particularly in how to achieve better returns from environmental finance.

Andrew Chapman, Kyushu University

Andrew works at the International Institute for Carbon Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER). His research focuses on energy policy and the social aspects of energy systems, technology and sustainability.