10 Jan 2024 12:31

Risk of power grid accidents rising in Ukraine, necessary to save electricity - PM

MOSCOW. Jan 10 (Interfax) - Falling air temperatures have caused electricity consumption in Ukraine to soar, also contributing to the risk of accidents in the electricity distribution network, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal said.

"The situation is under control. There is a margin of safety. But electricity consumption is growing rapidly due to low air temperatures. This morning, it was 6% higher than yesterday's figures. Additional loads are increasing the risk of accidents," Ukrainian media quoted Shmygal as saying at a government meeting on Tuesday.

Ukraine needs all of its citizens to jointly save electricity, he said.

Specifically, energy sector officials call on citizens during a cold spell to reduce electricity consumption by turning off powerful electrical appliances, while businesses are advised to turn off power to signs, banners and shop windows.

"This will help save up to 200-400 MW, which is equal to several heat generation units. And it is critically needed at the moment by our energy system," Shmygal said.

Meanwhile, according to Ukrenergo's operations control center, electricity consumption in Ukraine has hit this heating season's all-time high, Ukrainian media outlets quoted Ukrenergo as saying in a statement on social media.

Power consumption at record levels began in the morning, and energy sector staff took all possible measures to prevent electricity shortages without resorting to emergency electricity assistance from other countries, Ukrenergo said on Tuesday.

This time, the company appealed to both the population and businesses, asking stores and shopping malls to turn off their signs and turn down the lights in their window displays between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

"Households have been asked to postpone using irons, electric stoves and vacuum cleaners until the evening, after 7:00 p.m., or, if possible, until the weekend. The minimum that can be done is not to switch on several massive electrical appliances simultaneously and to turn off the lights when leaving the room," Ukrenergo said.

Meanwhile, 523 populated localities across Ukraine, including 186 in the Dnepropetrovsk region, 107 in the Kirovograd region, 99 in the Nikolayev region, and 97 in the Odessa region, remain without electricity due to adverse weather, such as gale-force winds, the icing of overhead power lines, fallen utility poles and icy conditions, Ukrainian media said, citing the Energy Ministry. Power outages caused by bad weather have also been reported in the Chernigov and Sumy regions and the Kiev-controlled part of the Zaporozhye region.

Power supply were restored to around 500 communities over the past 24 hours, the ministry said.

As reported, 1,025 populated localities across Ukraine remained without electricity due to adverse weather on Tuesday morning.