PARIS Nikkei–Japan’s energy self-sufficiency fell six points on the year to 13% in 2011, hitting its lowest point since 1981 and raising questions over the country’s energy security, according to the chief economist at the International Energy Agency.

Fatih Birol disclosed the agency’s findings in a recent interview with The Nikkei.

The energy self-sufficiency rate shows how much of a country’s energy needs it can meet on its own. Nuclear power is a major contributor to many advanced economies’ energy production.

However, Japan’s nuclear power plants have been shut down for regular inspections following last year’s nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant and have failed to reopen due to local opposition. That has increased demand for fossil fuels to generate electricity. Japan’s imports of oil and natural gas rose by 5 trillion yen on the year to 23.1 trillion yen in 2011.

The Nikkei, May 30 evening edition

via 2012/05/30 13:00 – Japan’s Energy Self-Sufficiency Lowest Since ’81.