PESD director Frank A. Wolak talks energy with Japanese CEOs and former PM


Japan tsunami Flickr Jun Teramoto scenery
Photo credit: 
Jun Teramoto

Frank Wolak was a panelist at a one-day symposium in Tokyo put on by the Center for International Public Policy Studies entitled “Can Japan have a new economic paradigm after the catastrophic quake and tsunami on 11th March?”.

Wolak described how active demand-side participation by consumers through the use of dynamic pricing could help manage Japan’s current energy shortfall and benefit Japanese industry by stimulating the demand for the advanced metering and other electronic equipment necessary to implement dynamic pricing. Wolak summarized the results of several PESD research projects demonstrating significant price-responsiveness at both the residential and industrial level to retail prices that vary with real-time system conditions.

The major topic at the symposium was how Japan would meet its current and future electricity supply needs and what role nuclear power should play. There was general agreement among the panelists that nuclear power should remain part of Japan’s energy mix for both economic and energy security reasons, along with more stringent nuclear safety regulations. Other participants included Junichiro Koizumi (former Prime Minister of Japan) and Chief Executive Officers from a number of major Japanese corporations including Toshiba, Nippon Steel, Toyota, Panasonic, and Canon.