EghrtesadOnline: Power loss in transmission and distribution networks in Iran now is near 9.7% and should decline to 9.2% by the end of the current Persian calendar year (March 2021), the deputy energy minister for electricity affairs said.
“Thanks to the concerted efforts of distribution and transmission companies, power loss in the network fell under 10% two years ago for the first time and was below 9.8% last year,” the Energy Ministry news portal Paven quoted Homayoun Haeri as saying.
The ministry is focused on boosting efficiency of the plants and stability of the network, he added.
Electricity is usually supplied from large power plants to consumers via extensive networks and rugged terrain and transmission over long distances inevitably results in power loss.
Power loss, among other factors, is also due to old or defective equipment. Raising efficiency is one of the measures that can help save energy.
“Power specialists have strived to increase the efficiency of power plants, which has now reached 38.6%. This rate will improve to 39% by the end of this fiscal year and 40% next year,” Haeri said.
Energy efficiency of a conventional thermal power station, considered salable energy produced as a percent of the heating value of the fuel consumed, is typically 33% to 48%.
Considering the heat produced by gas and steam turbines, their efficiency is limited and governed by the laws of thermodynamics.
Thermal power stations account for 80% of total power generation in Iran and enhancing the efficiency of such infrastructure at regular intervals is crucial.
Iran has an installed capacity of 84,500 MW. Thermal units, which either use steam, gas-powered or combined-cycle turbines, account for over 66,000 MW of the total production.
Replacing old and defective equipment, power lines, utility posts, cables and meters as well as penalizing illegal use (theft) are other measures taken by utilities to reduce loss.
The government has said that it intends to phase out inefficient power plants, improve aging infrastructure and use modern power production technology.
Converting conventional plants into efficient combined-cycle units is one of the priorities of the government as they use both gas and steam turbines to produce up to 50% more electricity from the same fuel than a traditional simple cycle plant. The waste heat from the gas turbine is sent to nearby steam turbines, which also generate electricity.
The Energy Ministry has said it has plans to reduce electricity wastage to 9% by 2022.
Losses from the transmission and distribution of electricity through inefficient networks mean that additional electricity must be generated to service the same level of demand.
According to the International Energy Agency, losses in power grids worldwide resulted in around 1 gigaton of carbon dioxide emissions in 2018.
Options to reduce these losses include replacing transformers and power lines, and optimizing the reactive power profile. Investments in smart grids would facilitate further CO? emissions reductions by reducing load peaks, load shifting, facilitating the integration of renewables generation, supporting the adoption of electric vehicles and improving energy efficiency.
The digitalization of electricity systems improves reliability and reduces operating costs. Investment in smart, modern, secure and climate-proof networks also helps diversify the power mix and reduces the risk of power outages and losses in the future. In many developing economies, investment in electricity networks and mini-grids is particularly needed to increase the reliability of the network, support the connection of renewable energy and displace polluting diesel generation.
According to reports, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has created a new world record by reducing losses in its electricity transmission and distribution networks to 3.2% in Dubai, compared to 6-7% in Europe and the United States.