EghtesadOnline: Iran’s actual power generation is 59,000 megawatts and network load is projected to surpass 61 GW in summer. The 2,000 MW deficit will have to be compensated by load shedding and outages that will affect industries and households unless consumption declines in the hot season.
To meet rising power demand during peak hours in summer, Iran should add 2,200 MW to its annual output, ILNA reported.
However, this is not economically viable because construction of power plants to produce the additional 2,200 MW would cost $2.3 billion and most will anyway be shut down in the cold season when power consumption decreases by almost 50% soon after summer, Financial Tribune quoted the Energy Ministry spokesman for the power department as saying.
Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi says if people adjust consumption on the lower side, there will be no need for the new and costly power plants. “Instead the money can be used for expanding the power grid to rural and underprivileged areas.”
Current installed power capacity is 81,000 megawatts. However, a lot less is produced especially in the hot seasons due to wastage and technical problems and restrictions as power plants are usually not allowed to operate at full capacity.
“In addition to the people upholding normal consumption patterns, manufactures and importers must help pave the way for optimal consumption by producing and importing low-energy light bulbs and standard cooling and heating appliances,” the spokesman was quoted as saying by ILNA.
“Almost 70% of imported cooling systems are not standard and have high consumption. The Energy Ministry has asked relevant bodies to improve supervision,” he noted.
Close to 90% of consumers are in the average 300-kilowatt hour bracket a month, which is a basic consumption benchmark for subscribers in regions with temperate climate like Tehran. The 10% high consumers have to pay more, Rajabi Mashhadi said.
Higher tariffs are imposed to discourage heavy consumers and compel them to change their bad habits. For example, “while the comfort temperature is usually 25 degrees centigrade, sometimes the indoor temperature (in homes and offices) is set at 18 degrees.”
Referring to energy loss in buildings across the country, the official said it is higher than many other countries.
Using LED light bulbs that do not produce heat and improving insulation by utilizing double-glazed windows and doors are among measures that can help reduce waste of energy in the buildings.
“Moreover, with a few simple steps we can reduce consumption by 60%, for example by using natural light during daytime instead of turning on lamps indoors and using standard refrigerators,” Rajabi Mashhadi said.
Several programs are underway to reduce power consumption in the summer season when demand outstrips supply. Changing working hours in state and affiliated organizations, which reduced consumption by 2,000 megawatts last year, is among the programs.
Furthermore, farmers are encouraged to turn off their water pumps during peak hours. If they do so, they can use free electricity for the next 20 hours. The initiative helped save 700 MW of electricity last summer.
According to weather reports, Iran will have a very hot summer this year. Assessments and analysis show that temperature increase by one degree centigrade raises electricity consumption in the country by over 1,300 megawatts.
The systematic rise in consumption during summers compels the government to increase electricity import from neighboring states with which Iran has long-term power import-export agreements.