Load Shedding and Energy Users
- Aug 30, 2022 3:24 pm GMT
Facing difficult economic times, utilities will have to make tricky decisions. With shortages of Russian gas and many economies leaning towards a recession, there will be effects on power companies. Many utilities will need to utilize load shedding techniques to lower demand and balance it with energy production.
One method would be cyclical shedding, for example, have the power on for two hours, then turn it off for two hours. Several countries already use this method, including India and various African countries. Utilities may use solutions to deal with peak loads including energy storage or pumped hydro facilities. However poor utility long-term demand projection might need load-shedding to avoid a large-scale black-out. Pakistan, for example, which has power shortfalls of around 8GW, typically has a daily power outage of roughly eight hours in urban regions and about ten hours in rural areas due to load shedding. The main causes include a lack of fuel for diesel power plants, technical difficulties, and low water levels at the dams where hydropower is generated.
France, in contrast, has issues with a shortage of cooling water for its nuclear power plants due to an the recent extremely hot weather. So some load shedding is necessary. Load shedding is often used in South Africa. For nearly fifteen years, users have been subjected to recurring total area disconnections. This is due to the state-owned electricity provider, Eskom, failing to keep up with the speed of economic development by building sufficient power plants.
Methods of remediating load shedding include better data from smart meters, and flexibility in applying loads by analyzing the real-time data. Load shedding is not a long-term solution. It can be a temporary expedient forced upon utilities due to extreme weather conditions or maintenance issues. The long-term strategy must be to enlarge the capacity for power generation combined with energy storage systems.
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