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Power demand at record level

Manama, August 18, 2008

Bahrain is witnessing record demand for power this summer due to a surge in population and ever-increasing infrastructure development.

Daily demand for electricity has already outstripped last year’s peak of 2,136 megawatts, Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) head of information and awareness Abbas Alkhayat told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

He said this year’s daily demand had peaked at 2,234mw last month, but said that was well within the maximum capacity of 2,800mw.

That is double the demand witnessed 10 years ago, with 1,159mw recorded on August 20, 1998.

Alkhayat attributed the increase to the fact that Bahrain’s population has now passed the one million mark, which means more people are tapping into the power grid.

An increase in development projects also means that more energy is needed - both during and after their construction.

However, he urged people to conserve power wherever possible to avoid draining the network and causing power cuts - particularly in densely populated areas.

’The available electricity is enough to cover people’s needs, as the capacity is 2800mw,’ he said.

’We haven’t hit that high yet, but the overuse in some areas as a result of over population can cause errors in some distribution networks.’

He revealed the peak hours were 1pm to 4 pm and 10pm to 1am, adding that air-conditioning alone accounts for 60pc of electricity use during summer.

However, he said the government was taking steps to ensure demand did not outstrip supply.

’The government is working on expanding networks and reconstructing power stations to enhance its production capacity to meet the growth of demand in the coming years,’ said Alkhayat.

The EWA launched an awareness campaign in June to encourage people to conserve electricity through lectures and workshops for societies and youth groups.

’We introduce them to basic information about electricity, the reasons for the increase in usage and efforts needed to conserve electricity,’ said Alkhayat.

The GDN has previously reported that the growth in demand for power doubled from six per cent in 2006 to 12pc last year.

However, Alkhayat had the following tips to help people reduce their electricity use.

Set the air-conditioning temperature to 24C rather than 18C and close windows and doors while it is on.

Choose better quality air-conditioning brands that contribute to electricity conservation by using less energy to produce cold air.

Switch off lights in unoccupied rooms.

Insulate homes and offices to keep cold air inside and hot air outside.

’The purpose of conserving electricity is to preserve the country’s resources, like gas, as well as protecting the environment,’ explained Alkhayat.

A power conservation workshop will take place in association with Alba at Al Dana Mall on Saturday.

Booklets will be distributed to the public along with gifts to motivate them to conserve electricity. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | demand | power | EWA | megawatts |

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