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S. Korea has enough power supply to meet peak winter demand: gov't

All Headlines 16:30 December 10, 2015

SEJONG, Dec. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has sufficient electricity reserve to meet peak demand over the winter months thanks to increased power generation capacity and better maintenance of the country's transmission infrastructure, the government said Thursday.

According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, peak power demand is expected to reach around 81 million kilowatts (kW) in the second and third weeks of January, while the country's output capacity will stand at 93.21 million kW.

"This will give the country a maximum reserve capacity of 12.21 million kW that should be enough to deal with sudden drops in temperature or unforeseen power stations breakdowns and electric power line failures," it said.

The widespread use of air conditioners with built-in fan heaters has caused electricity demand to spike in the winter months. In the past power spikes usually occurred during summer because ordinary people and workplaces turned on their air conditioners to stay cool.

Even in the unlikely event that demand rises to 83 million kW, the country will still have enough reserves, it said.

The ministry said that the rise in reserves this winter is due to 11 large power generators going on line in the past year. Combined power production of these generators stands at 4.88 million kW.

The government, meanwhile, said that besides setting aside more reserves, it has a contingency plan in place to handle all manner of emergency situations.

Under this plan, the government will ask companies with private power generating facilities to increase output, while implementing emergency shutdowns of non-essential areas that can add some 3 million kW to the country's power grid.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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