Taipei, May 28 (CNA) Scorching weather pushed electricity consumption around Taiwan to record levels for the month of May on Monday, even before the beginning of peak usage hours that day, according to state-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower).
Electricity consumption peaked at 35.3 million kilowatts at 11:30 a.m., the highest ever recorded in May, sending the operating reserve margin down to an alarming 4.01 percent of operating capacity, company data showed.
The 35.3 million kilowatts of electricity consumption was 240,000 kilowatts more than the previous record of 35.06 million kilowatts registered in May last year, said Cheng Yu-tsai (鄭有財), Taipower’s deputy superintendent for central coordination.
Asked by reporters if consumption was likely to increase later in the day, given that electricity usage has peaked between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. over the past few days, Cheng said it would depend on the temperature and users’ response to demand bidding, which is when the utility purchases back the electricity it sold to users.
Central Weather Bureau (CWB) forecast warm weather on Monday. However, expecting Pacific high pressure to turn weaker later in the day, the bureau forecast the weather would be cooler. Nevertheless, the high was still expected to remain 33-35 degrees Celsius around Taiwan, CWB said.
The mercury rose to 36.3 degrees in the central city of Taichung at 1:14 p.m., CWB pointed out, listing it as the highest ever recorded by the Taichung weather monitoring station for May since the station was established 122 years ago.
Facing power supply concerns, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) told the press that “currently there is no power shortage problem” although the rising temperatures have increased pressure on supply.
(By Liao Yu-yang, Wang Shu-fen, Pan Tze-yu and Elizabeth Hsu)