EghtesadOnline: Peak electricity consumption in the capital Tehran has increased by over 1,000 megawatts in the past two years, the managing director of Tehran Regional Electricity Company said.
“Peak demand for electricity has increased from 8,989 MW in the fiscal 2015-16 to 10,091 MW in the current fiscal year [ending March 20] in Tehran, indicating a 6% growth,” Gholamreza Khoshkholq was also quoted as saying by ILNA on Saturday.
Stressing that the ratio of installed power stations to peak demand in Tehran is lower than the national average, Khoshkholq said while Iran’s total power stations have a load 2.5 times bigger than the country’s peak consumption, the ratio stands at 1.5 times in the capital, which shows power outage is more likely in Tehran during peak demand hours.
According to the official, to alleviate the city's power problems, it needs an investment of 100 trillion rials ($2.23 billion) in the next eight years, which is not feasible because of the country’s current economic status and the relatively low electricity tariff in Iran, Financial Tribune reported.
Noting that Tehran had withstood peak consumption in the past few years, he added that the state-owned company has taken measures at a cost of about 5 trillion rials ($111 million) since September to prepare Tehran’s power infrastructure for the peak summer demand.
“Some of these plans have become operational and projects underway will be completed by March,” Khoshkholq added.
Consumption reaches record levels in summer as people turn on their cooling systems to alleviate the withering heat. Electricity demand surges between 7 p.m. until midnight. The second-highest period of consumption is between midday and 4 p.m. in the evening.
Khoshkholq said power consumption peaks at about 200 hours per year, during which the nation should manage their electricity use. “If so, the need to spend additional costs for repair and maintenance will be substantially reduced,” he said.
Highlighting the role of increased electricity tariffs on subscribers’ consumption patterns, the official noted that following the Subsidy Reform Plan, power consumption growth, which was at 6%, dropped to minus 9% in the first year. However, the increasing patterns returned in the next fiscal year.
Subsidy Reform Plan took effect in 2010-11, which removed heavy subsidies on food and fuel, and instead paid every Iranian 450,000 rials ($10.04) each month. Underlining the importance of utilizing modern technology and a strategic plan for water and power management, Khoshkholq said consumption management and optimization are possible in Iran.
The government in the last few years has pushed up electricity bills and imposed surcharge on profligate consumers as a last resort to curb consumption. But experts and officials say electricity prices are still cheap and do not hit consumers in the pocket.
The judicious consumption of energy resources is perpetually trumpeted via promotional ads on the national TV as well as banners and billboards, but consumption data show that the call has mostly fallen on deaf ears with increasing numbers of foreign companies manufacturing energy-intensive air-conditioners.