Swelteringly hot weather yesterday pushed the nation’s peak electricity consumption to 36.46 gigawatts (GW), setting a new July record, data compiled by Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) showed.
It was also the third-highest daily consumption figure of all time, after 36.77GW on May 30 and 36.71GW May 31, the state-run utility said.
Power demand peaked at 36.46GW at 1:44pm yesterday, with the operating reserve margin falling to 6.47 percent, Taipower data showed.
Most counties in western Taiwan experienced temperatures of more than 36°C at noon yesterday, with Yunlin County reaching the highest at 37.6°C, Central Weather Bureau data showed.
The high temperatures have reignited debate over Taiwan’s unstable power supply during summer, the peak season for power use.
Electricity consumption in May and last month has already hit record high levels.
The power supply reading is expected to be “yellow” for the rest of this month, with an estimated operating reserve margin of 6.02 percent, Taipower’s Web site showed.
The reading is likely to remain yellow next month, with an operating reserve margin of no more than 7 percent, Taipower forecast.
The company uses a five-color monitoring system to reflect the stability of the nation’s power supply.
“Orange” means that the operating reserve margin is less than 6 percent, with “red” and “black” indicating that the reserve margin is less than 900,000 kilowatts and 500,000 kilowatts respectively.
The operating reserve margin is the amount of additional power that can be drawn from operational power plants to meet power demand if a generator goes offline.
Taipower yesterday reiterated the importance of building a new coal-fired Shenao Power Plant (深澳電廠) in New Taipei City.
Taiwan would not be able to reach the power reserve margin target it set for 2025 if the government fails to begin generating power at the Shenao plant as scheduled, local media quoted Taipower spokesman Hsu Tsao-hua (徐造華) as saying.
The Shenao project has met strong opposition from local environmental groups, as well as the New Taipei City Government.
New Taipei City Government yesterday said it has filed an administrative appeal on an environmental impact assessment, urging the Cabinet to scrap the project because of its potential to cause air pollution in northern Taiwan.
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