Judicious Consumption Key to Avoiding Power Outage

Iran’s power plants can meet the domestic electricity demand.Iran’s power plants can meet the domestic electricity demand.

Reducing electricity wastage in the national power grid and promoting prudent consumption can help tackle the country's occasional power shortage, a deputy at Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company said.

"Instead of allocating substantial budgets to build power plants, we can find better ways to manage the electricity generated in the country so as to cut outages during hot summer days when consumption peaks," Mahmoud Reza Haqifam was also quoted as saying by ISNA on Tuesday.

According to the official, the government has invested over $2 billion on expansion of power stations for producing only 300 kilowatt-hours of electricity in summer.

"However, measures like reducing electricity wastage can help compensate the loss to a great extent and eliminate the need to launch new plants, which normally require billions of dollars in investment," he said.

Haqifam noted that power wastage in the national grid has been cut to 10.6% from 15.2% in less than three years and plans are in place to reduce it to less than 10% in the near future.

He stressed that the current plants suffice the national power demand. 

"During the last fiscal [ended March 20, 2017], the country's power production exceeded 55,000 megawatts, which signifies the current facilities' sufficiency," he said. 

National electricity demand exceeds production in summer while people experience occasional outages during the season.

Iran's power demand hit a historic high of 55,400 MW in July, up from about 53,000 MW in the fiscal 2016-17.

  Altering Patterns

By improving domestic consumption behavior, the country can compensate part of its electricity shortages in the hot season, the official said. To do so, Haqifam urged the need for cutting electricity subsidy and raising awareness about judicious consumption.

As long as electricity prices are not modified, neither can we tackle the problem nor will people and industries alter their consumption patterns, he added.

According to the official, power generation costs, including production and transmission, stand at over 2 cents per kilowatt-hour, yet it is sold to subscribers at 1.4 cents per kWh.

Referring to Iran's high energy consumption rate that is reportedly 14 times that of Japan, Haqifam said if effective measures are not taken to restrain and reverse the current pattern of overuse, "we will face formidable challenges to generate energy for future generations".

"Another comparison between Iran’s energy consumption and global figures indicates that the world's primary energy consumption increased 27% in the past decade, while Iran's overall energy use rose by 80%," he said.

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