Wed, May 17, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Electricity unlikely to be rationed over peak period

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

It is unlikely that electricity would need to be rationed this summer, as more efficient power generators are to be activated to boost supply, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

With temperatures continuing to climb, state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) plans to add more generators to accommodate increasing power consumption and circumvent potential outages.

NEW GENERATORS

Last month, the power utility launched a new power generator in New Taipei City’s Linkou District (林口) and it plans to launch another three in July at the earliest in Miaoli County’s Tongsiao Township (通霄), Taoyuan’s Datan Township (大潭) and Chiayi County’s Dalin Township (大林), Bureau of Energy Director-General Lin Chuan-neng (林全能) told a news conference yesterday.

In addition, Taipower also plans to purchase an extra 350,000 kilowatts of power from private-run electricity plant operators to cope with the spike in use, Lin said.

“As those new generators are set to become operational later this year ... we believe supply will not be a problem,” he said.

In addition, on the demand side, the ministry is to implement more stringent power conservation measures this year in a bid to reduce the power consumption of heavy users and cut peak-hour usage, he said.

“With those measures we can avoid a “red” light flashing [which indicates that electricity must be rationed],” Minister of Economic Affairs Lee Chih-kung (李世光) told reporters.

The nation’s power supplies face mounting pressure due to a variety of factors, particular higher temperatures, which push up consumption as people use air conditioners more.

Businesses have also raised concerns about the tight electricity supply, fearing that power outages would crimp production and profits.

“Electricity supply is to be critical from this month through July, which will be the hottest months this year based on the weather forecasts we have,” Taipower chairman Chu Wen-chen (朱文成) told reporters.

LOW RAINFALL

In addition, relatively low rainfall during this year’s rainy season would limit power supply from hydroelectric plants, Chu said.

Since February, power supply has been flashing “yellow,” indicating tight supply of electricity, as the power operating reserve ratio fell into a low range of 6 percent to 10 percent.

Yesterday, the operating reserve ratio — a key indicator of power supply — stood at 8.15 percent, but the ratio would deteriorate to about 3 percent in July, Taipower predicted.

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