Hot weather yesterday pushed the nation’s peak electricity consumption to 36 gigawatts (GW), a record high for May according to data compiled by state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電), raising concerns about electricity shortages.
Power demand peaked at 36GW at 1:41pm, bringing the operating reserve margin down to 3.59 percent.
The consumption figure was ranked as the highest level so far this year, Taipower data showed.
The mercury rose to 36.3°C in the center of Taichung at 1:14pm, the highest ever recorded by the Taichung weather monitoring station for May since it was established 122 years ago, Central Weather Bureau data showed.
In response to growing concerns over electricity shortages, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) yesterday said that the nation still has sufficient electricity, but with an operating reserve lower than that needed to instantly meet excessive power demand.
The state-run utility would submit a detailed plan to renovate outdated electricity networks around the nation as soon as possible to ensure a stable power supply, Shen said, without elaborating.
The ministry has asked the company to draft a five-year plan to improve the stability of electricity distribution networks, a Taipower official said, adding that a draft of the plan would be finished within a month.
Power consumption is poised to hit another record high today, with an estimated peak power consumption of 36.4GW, and the nation’s power supply reading is forecast to flash “orange” for today, with a forecast operating reserve margin of 2.8 percent, Taipower’s Web site showed.
The utility uses a five-color warning system to reflect the stability of the nation’s power supply.
“Green” indicates operating reserve margins of more than 10 percent; “yellow” represents power reserves of between 6 and 10 percent; and “orange” signals reserves of less than 6 percent.
Trade groups have voiced concerns about possible power shortages that could disrupt industrial operations and affect production output.
Additional reporting by CNA
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