The real difficulties have not yet begun: hourly power outages may soon be returned to Ukrainians – Ukrenergo

Kseniya KapustynskaNews
Will there be power outages in Ukraine?
Will there be power outages in Ukraine?. Source: Unsplash

The Ukrainian energy sector is facing a very difficult summer. Electricity consumption is expected to grow, while production is expected to fall. In this case, the current deficit may worsen. If this happens, hourly blackout schedules will be introduced, which will affect not only industry but also household consumers.

This was announced by the CEO of Ukrenergo Volodymyr Kudrytskyi at a briefing. He emphasized that currently, the restrictions apply only to business and industry, but the situation may change in the summer.

"Now is not the most difficult situation that could be. We have not yet seen the real summer heat. Therefore, consumers do not use air conditioning systems to their maximum capacity. Also, hydroelectric power plants (HPPs) have fewer resources in summer, especially on hot days. The capacity of nuclear power plants has not yet reached its minimum. Therefore, we will face challenges in the summer. And they will be primarily related to power shortages due to damage to power plants," Kudrytskyi explained.

All these factors can lead to a continuous power shortage in the Ukrainian power system throughout the day. In this case, the whole country will have to return to hourly blackouts.

"In this situation, a different schedule is used. Namely, the schedule of hourly blackouts (HBS), which we all know. This is when Ukrenergo informs each region of the consumption limit, and regional power distribution companies together with the regional administration distribute this limit to each consumer, forming lists of outages. In other words, if the deficit worsens, the schedules of restrictions for the industry may not be enough, and then it will be necessary to apply schedules in which all consumers will participate," Kudrytskyi said.

Why only business is being cut off now

The head of Ukrenergo explained that after Russia's recent attacks on the energy sector, Ukraine has been covering the current deficit with imports and emergency aid from neighboring countries. However, during peak consumption hours (evening and morning) and at night, when there are no imports, there is a shortage of electricity.

"The main means of balancing the power system when there is a shortage of imports and emergency power is to limit consumption. So far, Ukrenergo has been limiting consumption for non-household consumers – industry and business. This is because there is a certain procedure for applying restrictions... In today's conditions, when the deficit during the day does not always occur, but several times a day, limited by hours, then in such a situation, the schedule for non-household consumers is applied," explained Kudrytskyi.

He also emphasized that emergency assistance from abroad is not guaranteed. It is provided only if Ukraine's neighboring countries have excess capacity that they can promptly share with the Ukrainian power system.

"That is why we are interested in stimulating commercial imports, which are a guaranteed, planned source... This also applies to night hours. Moreover, if companies that currently lack electricity import it and cover at least 30% of their consumption with imports, today's rules guarantee them no blackouts... This will help both themselves and the power system," said the head of Ukrenergo.

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