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Egypt Electricity Challenges of T&D Losses

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Egypt Electricity Challenges of T&D Losses


1. Background

According to 2018 statistics, Egypt Electricity generated (196760 GWh) but sold only (157610 GWh), meaning total losses is (19.897%) which assumed a high level worldwide. A part of the losses is self consumption in generation plants complexes; other is technical losses while the rest is nontechnical and theft losses. Hereinafter, is shedding light with overcoming recommendations.

2. Self Consumption in Generation Complexes

Inside generation plants, there are a lot of electric loads such as pumps, fans, compressors, ventilation and lighting which consumed a part of generated electricity. In 2018, self consumption was (7260 GWh) about of (3.687%) of generated electricity. This value is normal as worldwide operation experiences.

3. Single Buyer and Wholesale Seller

Egypt Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) is the single buyer and wholesale seller of electricity. It buys generated electricity from generation complexes and transmits it over transmission lines system at different extra, high and medium voltages to distribution companies.

4. Transmission System Losses 

EETC has purchased (189500 GWh) in 2018. It sold electricity of (26460 GWh) directly to some industries supplied on high voltage level, and the rest of (154560 GWh) to the nine- distribution companies. Therefore, the difference (8480 GWh) is the Transmission losses which is equal to (4.474%) of purchased electricity. This value is a little bit higher than standard, due to long lengths of some transmission lines.

5. Distribution System Losses

Distribution companies purchased wholesale electricity from Egypt Electricity Transmission Company (EETC), as well as excess energy from industries that have self generation facilities. In 2018, total purchased electricity was (155968 GWh), while the sold was (131150GWh). The difference (24818 GWh) is distribution system losses which is equal to (15.91%) of purchased electricity. This value is higher than standard values which are around (6-8%).

Globally, Distribution System Losses are broken down into detailed categories: Technical losses, and Non-Technical losses.

5.1 Technical Losses

Technical losses of distribution network consist of energy dissipation in system components  such as lines, transformers, connections, measurement systems and other equipment that carry energy to and from customers. They depend on the design aspects of the network such as voltage and transformation levels as well as length of cables and/or transmission lines. They indicate how efficient planning and design of distribution networks is.  Operationally, technical losses divided into variable load related losses, fixed losses and network services losses.

5.2 Non-technical Losses

Some of the energy delivered through the distribution network and consumed by end users cannot be measured and properly accounted- for. They are caused by external actions, not related directly to electricity transmission and distribution processes. They viewed as undetected load of customers that utilities do not know, and do not paid for. There is a wide range of situations creating non-technical losses. A poor level of management offered by networks operators is the main root cause of non-technical losses.

5.3 Impact of Electricity Theft

Electricity theft reduces utilities revenues and their ability to invest in system improvements and extending services to those without access to electricity. Reduced revenues and profits lessen the attractiveness for private sector investment.

Electricity theft contributes to power outages by placing an unmanageable load on the system, and by damaging transmission and distribution infrastructures. Outage can affect large numbers of consumers.

5.4 How is Electricity Stolen?

  • Hocking illegal connection to overhead wires overloads the system and leads to blackout.
  • Eighty percent of electricity theft done by illegal connection to bare wires and underground cables.
  • Meter tampering where meter is intentionally altered so that it does not record the actual usage.
  • Meter bypassing where the input and output terminals of meter have been shorted.


5.5 Why is Electricity Stolen?

Most electricity theft carried out by individuals and organizations that consume large amounts of electricity and afford to pay for it including government, corporate, industrial and commercial groups. This shows a lack of accountability for non-payment within the public sectors.

Non-payment of bills is a large form of theft. This situation arises due to either poverty or a lack of trust between customers and the personnel reading meters and collecting revenues. They mistrust bills, particularly estimated bills. They lack information and knowledge about their own electricity consumption. They are frustrated the poor reliability of the electricity supply.

6. Cost of Avoided Distribution System Losses

It has been shown that the distribution system losses in 2018 reached (24818 GWh), which is (15.9%) of purchased electricity. International practices indicate reasonable losses are about (7%). This means that (13880GWh) can be saved from losses and add revenue to the distribution companies. In average, the cost of delivered electricity to consumers is 45$/MWh, meaning saved and added revenue may reach 625$ million in one year.

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Dr. Amal Khashab's picture

Thank Dr. Amal for the Post!

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 28, 2019 2:41 pm GMT

Great post, Dr. Amal. When discussing energy efficiency with utilities, we often go directly into discussing customer efficiency programs, but you bring up a great point that minimizing T&D losses along the way can be incredibly impactful. Do you think enough attention is being paid towards that kind of efficiency? 

Dr. Amal Khashab's picture
Dr. Amal Khashab on Oct 28, 2019 9:52 pm GMT

Thanks Matt. Actually it is a fishy subject , for many reasons . Main is theft in purpose where theives are covered by bureaucratic actions and corruption. Alwyas ,one can find that is common in developing cuntries. But with continuous light shedding there must be a way. I think I quntified theft losses and showed how it is beneficial to get rid of it.

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