EghtesadOnline: Power consumption fell below 40,000 megawatts at the weekend after 127 days as temperatures dropped across the country.
Consumption had surpassed 40,000 MW in May and increased gradually until July 22 when it reached a record 57,680 MW, about 1,000 MW more than last summer, the Energy Ministry news portal Paven reported.
Soaring temperatures (50 degrees Centigrade in the south) compelled households and businesses to turn on the cooling systems from early May. The heat lasted until early September.
Despite higher consumption, there were no blackouts in any region in the peak hours throughout summer, Financial Tribune reported.
Predictions last year suggested that Iran would need 8,000 MW of extra electricity this summer. Accordingly, 5,000 MW were to be added by launching new gas and steam units and new power plants.
Programs were planned to help reduce consumption by 3,000 MW so that no part of the country would face power outages in the hot summer season.
In the past year, 15 new power plants and units in 12 provinces started work, adding 3,250 MW to output capacity.
Renovation of old units and rehab plans helped produce 570 MW of electricity.
Hydropower plants, especially in southwestern Khuzestan Province, generated 1,200 MW, due to good rains in the current water year (ends Sept. 22).
With higher water levels in hydroelectric dams, hydropower plants are generating 12,000 gigawatt hours that is 5,000MW more compared to a year ago.
Programs That Delivered
Programs designed to curb power consumption were implemented and helped reduce consumption by 3,875 MW, which was above forecasts.
This was achieved by installing smart meters, tuning-up one million air conditioners, higher tariffs, changing working hours and replacing 10 million fluorescent lamps with energy saving bulbs in state and government organizations.
Reducing power waste in the national electricity grid also helped stabilize the network.
Replacing old and defective equipment, power lines, utility posts, cables and meters as well as penalizing illegal use (theft) of electricity were among other measures taken by utilities to reduce electricity loss.
In the past four decades power consumption on average has increased by 7% in Iran. However, this summer, in cooperation with households, industrial, commercial and agricultural sectors, consumption increased by only 1% during peak hours compared to last year.
Domestic installed power production capacity is around 82,000 MW and Iran has power exchange deals with seven neighboring states.
Close to 2.3 million kWh was exported in the past six months. The country is the largest exporter and importer of electricity in the Middle East and exports power to Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq and Afghanistan. Azerbaijan and Armenia supply electricity to Iran under swap agreements.
Iran's electricity industry is 14th in the world in terms of output and 19th in consumption.