photo by Bevelle (Flickr CC)

Power failures caused by the incident at Fukushima nuclear plant following the earthquake and tsunami last March have sparked a new energy saving trend in Japan.

Setsuden or ‘power saving’ is catching on in Japan in a big way. As far as public opinion goes, clean energy is in, nuclear and fossil fuels are out.

From the Guardian:

Tokyo, a bustling capital famous for its neon lights, has now turned into a city of darkened buildings and slower running trains. Billboards at major crossings flash daily rates of power consumption that tell whether the city has conserved sufficient energy to avoid a blackout.

What??

You mean a society can actually think about something other than new flat screen plasma TVs and the latest model of iPhone?

From the Japan Times:

Products expected to get a boost in the setsuden campaign include electric fans, LED light bulbs and capacitors for household use in which electricity stored at night can be used during peak hours of demand.

So air conditioners, incandescent or tungsten bulbs and a general wasteful use of electricity are all ‘uncool’ according to Tokyo’s cool-hunters. Or something like that.

It’s interesting to see the move towards LED instead of CFL light bulbs, but then Japan always has been cutting edge. Even the suggestion that Americans should use energy saving CFL bulbs has sent the Tea Party on a crusade against sustainability and saving energy.

New research suggesting CFLs may have health risks doesn’t help the matter.

On with LED, I say! Maybe Americans need their own disaster, like, I don’t know… a huge oil spill or something.

But what are the chances that will ever happen?