Japan’s nuclear crisis will lead to increased fossil fuel consumption, energy conservation, further industrial off-shoring and perhaps political change, Laban Yu, an equity analyst at Jefferies International, said in a research note published Wednesday.
The “good news” is that Japanese energy consumption had peaked. Energy usage per capita plateaus at a PPP GDP of $27,500/head, a level Japan hit about a decade ago, according to the report.
The “bad news” is that the nuclear renaissance seems to be over in Japan.
In recent years, concerns over global warming had given new life to Japan’s nuclear industry, which stalled in the mid-1990s after a series of nuclear mishaps and cover-up scandals, the report said.
Two reactors were brought online in the past two years, two were under construction and 12 were planned. This is now unlikely, it added.
Rising energy prices coupled with high interest rates is a toxic for any economy that was last seen in the 1970s, and is now playing out for the first time since then,” chief economist of British Petroleum Christof Ruehl told ET soon after presenting BP Energy Outlook 2030.
Interest rates have already started rising in countries that are not members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development ( OECD )) like India, China, Brazil and some European countries. The disaster in Japan will lead to a slowdown in additional or new nuclear capacity and, in the short-term, lead to an increase in demand for gas and coal. Since a number of big consumers like US, Japan, China and India have to depend on imported gas, this is expected to give a push to liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade, which had slipped following the global recession and the increased use of shale gas in the US markets.
If utility rates double everyone will wish they had an energy audit .