Vietnam breaks electricity consumption record amid heat wave

By Phan Anh   June 24, 2020 | 06:50 pm GMT+7
Vietnam breaks electricity consumption record amid heat wave
Electricians work on the poles in Bac Lieu Province in southern Vietnam, May 9, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyet Nhi.

Electricity consumption capacity in Vietnam recorded an all-time high of 38,800 MW on Tuesday, according to Vietnam Electricity Corporation (EVN).

The consumption capacity on the national grid reached the record level at around 2 p.m. Tuesday, breaking the previous high of 38,147 MW achieved in June last year.

Electricity consumption capacity on the grid also hit new heights in northern Vietnam, at 19,500 MW, and Hanoi, at 4,435 MW, EVN said on its website.

EVN, the national power distribution monopoly, plans to utilize multiple electricity sources to ensure enough power amid rising demand, said Vu Xuan Khu, deputy director of its national load dispatch center.

However, if hot weather prevails, electrical appliances and the power grid may be more vulnerable to problems that could affect supply, Khu said.

Hot weather conditions may also reduce the efficiency of electrical appliances at home, which could lead to overcapacity or even fire hazards, he said.

Northern and central Vietnam have experienced a period of severe heat in recent days. On Tuesday, several localities here recorded temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

Due to the impact of a low pressure area in the West and the foehn effect, the areas are expected to continue experiencing sweltering heat Wednesday. Hanoi should expect a high temperature range between 38 and 40 degrees Celsius, the center said.

Heat waves across the areas may last until the beginning of July, it warned.

Last month, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc called on sections of society to reduce power consumption to save at least 2 percent annually, warning that ensuring adequate power supply for the next five years would be a challenge.

Vietnam now mainly depends on coal-fired power and hydropower. But major dams have kept running out of water due to low rainfall attributed to climate change, with many thermal power projects running behind schedule.

With demand rising at an average of 10 percent a year, much higher than economic growth, Phuc reckons thrifty consumption is the most important and urgent requirement to ensure energy security in the next five years. Last year's economic expansion was 7.02 percent, the second highest rate in the last decade behind 7.08 percent in 2018.

EVN has estimated demand would rise by 9.2 percent to 262 billion kWh this year.

 
 
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