[Photo by MK DB]
South Korea’s electricity demand hit a record high in July, while supply reserves neared alarming level for the first time in nine years amid sweltering heat wave and increased business activity against a year-ago period.
According to Korea Power Exchange on Monday, the maximum power demand averaged 82,333 megawatts (MW) in July, up 1.4 percent from a year ago, breaking the previous record of 81,158 MW in July last year. The only two other time monthly average surpassed 80,000 MW was in July last year and August 2018 (80,710 MW).
Korea’s maximum electricity demand reached 92,990 MW as of 5 p.m. on July 7 to break the previous record of 92,478 MW on July 24 2018.
The surge in demand comes as power consumption increased in the industry sector on hotter-than-usual summer.
The reserve electricity ratio fell to 7.2 percent on July 7, down from 9.5 percent on July 5 and 8.7 percent on July 6, and lowest in three years after 6.7 percent on August 13 2019.
A power reserve ratio of 10 percent is a threshold the country can reliably sustain stable power supply.
The reserve capacity also fell to 6,726 MW on July 7, nearing 5,500 MW, a level that rings the alarm bell on power supply. The last time the alert was triggered was in August 2013.
Authorities warned that the country is expected to face biggest peak next week. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy forecast in June that maximum power demand will reach 91.7~95.7 gigawatt (GW) this summer, higher than last year’s 91.1 GW. Power reserve is estimated to range between 5.2~9.2 GW, which would be the lowest in five years. Reserve ratio was forecast at between 5.4~10.0 percent.
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]