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24 Nov. 2023

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Electricity shortages began in Ukraine even before russia's attacks on infrastructure: what happened

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Electricity shortages began in Ukraine even before russia's attacks on infrastructure: what happened

Ukraine's power grid has already experienced a shortage of electricity, forcing Ukrenergo to bring in emergency assistance from Slovakia, Poland, and Romania. Find out what the state of the power system is and whether massive blackouts will begin in the near future

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On the night of November 22, the first snow fell in most of Ukraine, and the temperature dropped below freezing, causing a spike in electricity consumption. In the afternoon of November 22, Ukrenergo announced a shortage in the power system and called on citizens to conserve electricity. In the evening of the same day, Ukraine was forced to bring in emergency aid from three neighboring countries: Poland, Slovakia and Romania.


"Ukrenergo was forced to resort to such a measure as emergency assistance from neighboring countries. We received emergency assistance from Slovakia, Poland and Romania during three evening hours, when consumption is the highest, and this helped us to balance our power system today," said Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, Chairman of the Board of the company, during the telethon.


Why did the blackouts start before russia's massive attacks on the power system?


According to Ukrenergo's press service, there are three main reasons for the power shortage in the system:


1. Increased consumption due to the cold snap.

2. Increased accident rate of power plant units.

3. Insufficient electricity imports from the EU.


Thus, because Ukraine failed to fully restore the power system and thermal power plants after last year's russian attacks on infrastructure facilities, electricity shortages were recorded even without new russian attacks. At the same time, there are no blackouts at the moment, and the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine says the situation is "stable and controlled." All power outages are due to scheduled works, except for the settlements where there is damage due to direct hostilities, in particular in Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv regions.


For example, in the coming days, some people in Kyiv region will be without electricity, but the outages will be due to preventive maintenance to improve the reliability of electricity supply and prevent accidents in the power grids.




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When will emergency power outages start in Ukraine?


Currently, there are no prerequisites for emergency power outages, but if there is an even colder weather, which will cause a significant jump in electricity consumption, Ukrainians may start living again according to the blackout schedule. At the same time, imports of electricity from the EU can help balance the deficit, but for this to happen, Ukraine must receive the necessary volumes of electricity in a timely manner.


But this is not the only problem, because so far russia has not launched massive attacks on infrastructure facilities and is only stockpiling missiles for winter shelling, as well as "looking for gaps in Ukrainian air defense" every night, launching dozens of cheap "Shaheds."


We have previously discussed whether Ukraine will be able to repel massive russian attacks and whether the existing air defense systems are capable of protecting the country from blackouts, as well as which cities are most protected and therefore safest. But how are cities preparing for possible blackouts? Find out here.


Photo: ShutterStock


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