South Korea is making concerted efforts to ensure a stable supply of electricity as the country’s power reserves are feared to plumb their lowest level this week amid a heat wave, officials said Tuesday.
The country remains gripped by the scorching heat wave in the wake of the annual rainy season, stoking concerns that a surge in electricity consumption could result in a power shortage.
To fend off such a scenario, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said it will likely resume operations of three nuclear reactors in the southeastern coast within this month.
Should the nuclear reactors go back online as planned, the electricity supply in Asia’s fourth-largest economy is expected to increase by 3,100 megawatts (MW).
“In line with required procedures and safety standards, the government has accelerate the maintenance of those nuclear power plants in order to help contribute to a stable power supply this summer,” it said.
As part of efforts to help cut the country’s power consumption, the government has also advised all government ministries and other public institutions to stop or refrain from using air conditioners between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
It marks the first time in years that the government has made such a request to government agencies, as well as state organizations and companies.
Such government measures come as the country’s power supply-demand situation is forecast to face a turning point this week.
The ministry has predicted the country’s electricity reserves are feared to sink to the lowest level of 4 gigawatts (GW) due to the sweltering temperatures and the economy’s recovery from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
South Korea activates emergency measures, including controls on the use of air conditioners at home, offices and plants, should its power reserve fall below 5.5 GW.
According to the ministry, South Korea’s power supply stands at 97.2 GW this week, similar to 98 GW for 2020, but its maximum power demand is estimated at 93.2 GW, higher than last year’s 89.1 GW. (Yonhap)