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Taiwan’s Power Grid On Red Alert As Heatwave Drives Peak Demand

Temperatures rose to a record-high for the year in Taiwan on Monday, driving electricity consumption to a peak and leaving the reserve capacity of Taiwan’s power grid to a level that prompted a red alert, according to state-run Taiwan Power Company (Taipower).

The reserve capacity dropped to 648,000 kilowatts (kW) on Monday afternoon in Taiwan, which is just 148,000 kW – or the power used by some 5,000 central air-conditioning units in a day – above the 500,000-kW threshold that triggers a black alert, which usually entails power rationing, local media report, citing Taipower.

Reserve capacity of below 900,000 kW and above 500,000 kW leads to red alerts, under Taipower’s five-color electricity consumption alert system.

Under this alert system, a green light means reserve margins are more than 10 percent, a yellow light flashes when reserves are between 6 and 10 percent, an orange light means that reserves are below 6 percent, red and black alerts are for reserves below that.

On Monday afternoon temperatures in northern Taiwan hit 38.5 degrees Celsius (101.3 degrees Fahrenheit), setting a record-high for this year. As a result, power consumption reached 36,017,000 kW at 2pm local time, leaving reserves of just 648,000 kW for the power grid.

According to Focus Taiwan news channel, which cited data by Taipower, electricity usage peaked at 36.165 million kW at 2:09pm, with an operating reserve margin of 2.34 percent, or 845,200 kW.  

Related: How Will The EU Respond To Fresh US Sanctions On Russia?

According to Taipower, as reported by Focus Taiwan, the grid will be strained on Tuesday as well, with power consumption expected to peak at 36.2 million kW, leaving an operating reserve margin of 2.09 percent, or 755,000 kW – again in the red alert area.

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Taiwan has very limited domestic resources and its energy import dependence was around 98 percent in 2015, the EIA says, citing data by the Taiwanese government.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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