A Smart Grid is to be set up in Tokyo as a solution to the power problems the city faced in the days following the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Tokyo’s metropolitan government has voted to introduce a Smart Grid that would draw on the power from office buildings, which account for 35 per cent of the city’s energy use.

The grid would monitor power from national utility Tepco, renewable energy sources – particularly solar – cogeneration heat and power from the city’s gas supply, and energy storage batteries. If generation from Tepco is suspended, as it was following Fukushima, then the Smart Grid would switch off all unnecessary appliances and the electricity shortfall would be compensated for by kicking-in the cogeneration system.

Hirohisa Aki of Japan’s Energy Technology Research Institute, said: “It’s very important to promote the Smart Grid system to enhance Tokyo’s disaster-response capabilities. Tokyo is the national capital, so the repercussions of a power shortage there would be extremely serious.”