Heat factor: Enemalta hits record demand over three consecutive days

Early summer peak: climate pushes up heat as electricity loads break 2019 records, three days in a row

File photo
File photo

Malta has experienced unprecedented days of heat in opening days of its summer, that sent electricity peak loads soaring with more frequent, and intensive use of cooling appliances to beat the heat.

tate energy provider Enemalta registered new peaks in energy demand for three days in a row, surpassing the highest ever electricity peak load registered, data seen by MaltaToday shows.

The record figures refer to the amount of energy distributed through the national electricity network, with demand rising on a daily basis, and breaking one consecutive record over the other.

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the electricity grid load registered exceeded the all-time peak grid load registered in 2019. During the same period in 2019 – the year prior to the COVID-19 slowdown – Enemalta had registered a record peak of 522 megawatts.

But over the past days, despite it still being July, Enemalta recorded 566MW on Tuesday, 577MW on Wednesday and 581MW on Thursday.

Consumers are increasingly making use of electrical appliances to keep their homes and businesses cool, but the demand for electricity is also dependent on other factors such as population growth and climate change.

Enemalta sources told MataToday the constant, increased demand for energy also leads to an increase in cable temperatures, and in current temperatures find no respite to cool down, which also results in faults, particularly in underground cables.

Enemalta is currently undergoing a €90 million spend on network distribution, in a bid to minimise disruptions from the increased pressures on the system.

But in various separate and localised incidents, residents in a number of localities have reported power cuts over the last few days.

Enemalta is switching consumers who experience faults onto alternative sources until the necessary repair works take place. But in cases where the fault is underground, works often require highly skilled personnel and state-of-the-art equipment to carry out excavation works for the repair works, which require testing before switching consumers back onto original feeders.