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(LEAD) S. Korea's power demand hits all-time high in August

15:35 September 19, 2023

(ATTN: ADDS details on energy mix in paras 4-7)

SEOUL, Sept. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's electricity demand hit a fresh all-time high in August as the country was struck by an unusual heat wave, the industry ministry said Tuesday.

The country's maximum power demand came to 93.6 gigawatts (GW) at 5 p.m. on Aug. 7, beating the previous record of 93 GW set in August 2022, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Despite the record demand, the country was able to supply energy in a stable manner by providing 104.3 GW, also the highest level ever.

The record supply capacity came as the government is pushing to boost the nuclear power generation after reversing the previous administration's nuclear phase-out policy, the ministry said.

In December last year, the Shin Hanul 1 nuclear reactor in the southeastern county of Uljin went into full operation and several other reactors were put back on normal operations following maintenance work this year.

Nuclear energy accounted for 23.4 percent of the country's total energy supply during last month's peak, and the proportion marked the highest figure in six years, according to the ministry.

"The government will come up with a realistic, reasonable energy mix to draw up a basic power demand plan for next year," a ministry official said.

South Korea had been gripped by sweltering weather this summer, with the average national temperature from June through August coming to 24.7 C, the fourth-highest level ever, according to the weather agency.

Employees check power demand and supply at the regional office of Korea Electric Power Corp. in Suwon, south of Seoul, on Aug. 7, 2023, amid a heat wave alert. The industry minister said South Korea's electricity demand this summer was forecast to peak that week, adding that the government would closely monitor the supply situation over the stoppage of a power plant and an approaching typhoon. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)



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