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Increasing Electricity Consumption In Iran Can Lead To Blackouts

A power station in Iran's electrical grid. FILE PHOTO

Iran’s electricity management company, TAVANIR, says consumers in the country set a new record for electricity consumption in the past few days.

According to TAVANIR, the "historical record" was set at 12:47, Wednesday, July 8, with 57,571 MW of instant electricity consumption.

Meanwhile, the overnight electric power consumption in from Tuesday to Wednesday also registered an instant electricity usage of 56,909 MW, which is quite high for the night time. Therefore, the figures set July 8 are the highest-ever electricity consumption in Iran.

At the same time, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)-linked Tasnim News Agency notes that the Ministry of Energy’s warning to save electricity consumption to prevent blackouts are still valid.

To prevent power outages, Iran needs to increase its electricity production by about five percent annually, but over the past few years, the growth has been much less than planned.

The latest statistics from the Ministry of Energy show that in the second quarter of this year, the practical power of the national electricity network during peak hours was about 65,000 MW. Since about ten percent of the produced electricity is wasted in Iran's power distribution and transfer network, and domestic electricity consumption is on the rise, the government will be left with no option other than implementing blackouts.

The Islamic Republic has planned to add 4,800 megawatts to Iran's electricity generation capacity in 2020, but it managed to add only 547 megawatts in the second quarter of the year.

Last year, just over 2,200 megawatts were added to the country's electricity generation capacity, which was less than half the target for 2019.

Electricity consumption in Iran has been following an unprecedented upward trend in recent weeks as a new heatwave has blanketed the country.

Iran’s Deputy Energy Minister Homayoun Haeri said last June the country’s electricity consumption was expected to reach 60,000 megawatts (60 gigawatts) during the summer peak consumption period, Mehr News Agency reported.

Haeri said June 21 the country’s peak electricity consumption has already reached 56.44 GW in the current Iranian calendar year (started on March 20), while the peak consumption level barely reached 54.14 GW in the previous year.

Almost 62,000 megawatts, or eighty percent of Iran’s 75,000-megawatt output, is generated from thermal plants that burn fossil fuels. Moreover, 12,000 megawatts come from hydroelectric plants and 1,000 megawatts from the country’s nuclear power plant in Bushehr, south of Iran.