Kuwait Experienced Abrupt Power Shortage

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Kuwait is currently facing a looming power deficit that could persist for several years, stretching until at least 2027. This shortage poses a threat to the nation’s energy security and could result in economic losses, particularly in vital sectors such as oil and industry.

Research and data on power consumption patterns suggest that the deficit will worsen in the coming years. Projections indicate a shortfall of around 700 megawatts in the summer of 2024, escalating to over 2,000 megawatts by 2025 and peaking at 2,500 megawatts by 2026. This represents an annual increase of approximately 5-6%.

The aging infrastructure of water and power plants presents a significant challenge, especially during peak summer demand when breakdowns and production stoppages are common. Notably, Kuwait has not constructed any major power plants in roughly 15 years.

Efforts by committees within the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) to develop actionable plans to address the power shortage have been ineffective. Proposals such as shutting off electricity to factories during the summer months, including in the crucial oil industry, are deemed impractical and indicative of insufficient planning.

gcc plans on power shortage crisis

While some see the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) grid connection as a potential solution, its capacity is limited and dependent on energy availability during peak times across Gulf countries, which align with Kuwait’s peak consumption periods. Moreover, sourcing energy from the GCC grid is costly.

The Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (KAPP) has made limited progress in meeting the growing demand for electricity and water. Despite its establishment, only one plant (the first northern Al-Zour) has been completed with private sector involvement. Plans for additional plants, like Al-Khiran, have yet to materialize.

Addressing the electricity crisis requires urgent and decisive action, potentially involving the hiring of international consultants.

Power Shortage Solution

Though the Ministry is exploring solutions involving international developers to provide energy, resistance persists despite Cabinet approval to purchase energy from such sources. Consequently, quick and sustainable solutions remain elusive.

Various international investors have proposed building and operating power and water plants at prices lower than current production costs, yet decisions on these proposals are still pending.

What are the primary sources of energy for electricity generation in Kuwait?

 Kuwait’s energy system depends solely on fossil fuels for energy generation, with 59 percent and 41 percent of the system being powered by oil and natural gas respectively

What is the level of CO2 emissions from Kuwait’s energy sector?

The energy sector in Kuwait is responsible for 95 percent of the country’s total CO2 emissions

What is the rate of electricity access among the population in Kuwait?

Kuwait has a population of 2 million, of whom 1.3 million are migrant workers. The kingdom is 100% electrified

How many power stations are there in Kuwait and what is their total output?

There are five power stations in Kuwait that deliver a total of 7200 MW a day

How many desalination plants are there in Kuwait and what is their total output?

Kuwait also has five desalination plants that produce 260 million imperial gallons a day

What is the primary cause of power shortage in

The primary cause of power shortage in Kuwait is attributed to the country’s unsustainable electricity usage, particularly driven by the necessity for artificial cooling due to soaring temperatures. Approximately 67% of electricity consumed in residences is dedicated to air conditioning, a significant factor in the high fossil-fueled energy consumption in Kuwait. Moreover, heavy government subsidies on electricity costs have led to a lack of incentive for residents to reduce their energy consumption, exacerbating the issue. This reliance on unsustainable energy consumption patterns, coupled with rising temperatures and the need for indoor cooling, has contributed significantly to the power shortage in Kuwait

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