Air conditions are set to force the national power grid into a meltdown during this summer considering that about a third of Australia’s workforce are working from home, experts have said.
According to a new study by Roy Morgan Company, over 4.3 million Aussies in employment are working from home as employers continue taking measures against Covid-19 including social distancing.
However, the current extremely warm weather is bringing about the risk of increased usage of air conditioners in homes, a trend that could cause more brownouts and higher electricity costs.
“Air-conditioning is what drives our maximum demand in Australia,” stated Peter Dobney, the former founding chairman of the Energy Users Association of Australia.
“We can expect higher prices, in fact, I think that’s a certainty.”
A recently published report by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) predicted peak load electricity demand dipping slightly this summer owing to the “economic effects of Covid-19.”
The report also noted that the coronavirus pandemic had “disrupted” social, economic and work cultures and that the “short to medium-term impact on electricity consumption is highly uncertain”.
The previous summer was Australia’s second-hottest with spring temperatures already getting warmer than average in most areas, according to reports from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).
According to Dr Paul Bannister, a renowned energy efficiency specialist at Delta Q, a consulting services company, the current trend did not augur well for the months ahead.
Blackouts could be triggered when the existing energy infrastructure is overwhelmed by the high demand.
When this happens, energy providers are forced to turn off specific areas covered by the grid, Dr Bannister said.
“And with more people working from home there will be a higher load in the residential areas,” Dr Bannister explained.
“But there won’t be a comparable drop in the commercial load, because most of the buildings are still operating.”
See the full article here: Why Working From Home Could Be A Disaster For Aus Electricity Grid
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