Kuwait Implements Power Cuts Due to Rising Summer Heat Demand

Kuwait Implements Power Cuts Due to Rising Summer Heat Demand By Sruthi Nair - June 20, 2024
Kuwaits main governmental electricity control tower reads 47 degrees Celsius

Kuwait's main governmental electricity control tower reads 47 degrees Celsius

Kuwait has announced temporary power cuts in certain areas during peak consumption hours, citing difficulties in meeting the increased demand caused by extreme summer heat.

On Wednesday, Kuwait's Ministry of Electricity, Water, and Renewable Energy stated that the scheduled outages would last up to two hours daily, marking the first such measure for the OPEC member as climate change leads to higher temperatures. The ministry attributed the cuts to "the inability of power plants to meet increased demand" during peak hours amid "a rise in temperatures compared to the same period in previous years."

On Thursday, the ministry released a schedule for the expected outages across several regions and urged residents to conserve energy to reduce the strain on power plants.

Kuwait, a major crude producer within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), is known as one of the world's hottest desert countries.

In recent years, climate change has intensified summer heat peaks, making them hotter and longer.

The extreme heat has increased dependence on energy-intensive air conditioners, which are essential in Kuwait during the summer months.

Temperatures approached 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) on Thursday, according to Kuwait's Meteorological Department.

"What we are experiencing today is the result of climate change," said Kuwaiti astronomer and scientist Adel Al-Saadoun, noting that temperatures are expected to exceed 50 degrees Celsius in the coming days.

Last month, Kuwait signed short-term contracts to purchase 500 megawatts of electricity, including 300 MW from Oman and 200 MW from Qatar, for the summer months. These contracts are effective from June 1 to August 31.

Kamel Harami, a Kuwaiti energy expert, emphasized the need for the Gulf state to upgrade its energy infrastructure.

"The available energy is insufficient, and instead of relying on oil and gas, we must shift towards nuclear, solar, and wind energy," he told AFP.

"This is just the beginning of the crisis, and the programmed power cuts will continue in the coming years if we do not accelerate the construction of power stations."

Umm Mohammed, a Kuwaiti woman in her sixties, experienced a two-hour power outage on Wednesday.

"We weren't severely affected," she told AFP, mentioning that the house stayed cool during the brief outage.

"Some people turn their homes into refrigerators, even when they are not inside, and this increases the load on power plants," she said.


Source: The Peninsula Qatar

By Sruthi Nair - June 20, 2024
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