Notable Reduction in Electricity Wastage

Notable Reduction in Electricity WastageNotable Reduction in Electricity Wastage

In line with plans to fight illegal electricity use and renovate national power grid to minimize outages, electricity wastage in the national grid has been cut to 10.7% from 15.2% in less than three years, a deputy energy minister said.

"Plans are in place to cut the wastage to less than 10% in the current fiscal by March 2018," Houshang Falahatian was also quoted as saying by IRNA on Sunday.

The 10.7% wastage rate is the nationwide average, but it varies in different regions.

“In some provinces, power wastage is below 8% but it is higher than the national average in some other provinces due to unauthorized consumption,” he said.

Falahatian put the number of electricity subscribers nationwide at 34 million, with 4.5 million new subscribers having joined the national grid since 2013, adding that 80,000 kilometers of new transmission lines have been added to the grid during the period.

Highlighting the 4.5% figure as an “unprecedented achievement”, he said although 4.5 million subscribers were added to the grid during the period, which normally indicate a rise in wastage, the Energy Ministry managed to reduce it.

He stressed that the accomplishment will help curb electricity load across the national grid and load shedding in big cities. According to the deputy minister, in addition to environmental advantages, the reduction in power wastage is a great economic achievement, as it can cut costs substantially.

Should electricity wastage plummet by 1%, costs can be cut by as much as $17 million annually.

Pointing to the sharp rise in electricity demand in the country, Falahatian said curtailing electricity wastage can help the ministry maintain power grid stability.

Forecasts suggest electricity demand will hit a peak of 56,000 megawatts this summer, up from a record high of 52,790 MW last year.

  Outdated Infrastructure

According to Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian, the national electricity infrastructure is outdated. Upgrading the equipment requires significant funds, but financial resources are scarce.

Chitchian believes the flawed design of power grids and mismanagement in power distribution are other reasons for electricity wastage.

Nonetheless, the ministry is doing all it could to reduce electricity wastage in the national grid to less than 10% in the present fiscal.

Pointing to the headway in reducing power wastage, Chitchian said there is still a long way to go to reach the optimum wastage rate of 8%.

According to Arash Kordi, managing director of Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company, Iran has a vast power network and its rate of wastage exceeds the global average, notwithstanding efforts to curb it.

"More than 10% of electricity go to waste in the national grid because of dilapidated equipment. The infrastructure of the national electricity grid is of low quality," he said.

Kordi noted that the transmission network is in urgent need of reconditioning, adding that the allocation of an inadequate budget for maintenance operations usually adds to the enormous expenses of the ministry.

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