THE recent power breakdown that left millions across the country without electricity was not the first of its kind in the country’s history. Massive breakdowns in the wake of faults in the national grid have hit the country more than a few times and the frequency of such incidents has been increasing rather ominously. For the recent one, ‘frequency variations’ in the national grid was cited as the reason.
On at least two such occasions, it started as a consequence of attempts to save fuel by turning off the electricity in low-usage hours and the subsequent failure to boot up the entire system simultaneously. It is necessary to address the technical aspects to overcome the so-called frequency variation issue.
Organisational operations regarding power and frequency control in each power system are the responsibility of the personnel manning the transmission system. The scope of their duties includes, among other things, ensuring reliable operation of the central regulator with the necessary measuring and information technology (IT) systems, preparing specific requirements for generating units connected to the transmission system, monitoring cross-border exchanges, and contracting and accounting ancillary services that are required for frequency control.
There must be a will to reform rather than delay what needs to be done to avoid such breakdowns. The traditional ways and unskilled workforce for tackling such issues surely need to be revisited. Besides, using renewable energy resources for switching mechanisms by properly skilled workers cannot be delayed any further, and it should not be.
Without doing the right thing at the right time, there is little hope for the country in any domain of national existence, and the power distribution system is no exception on this count.
Dr Intikhab Ulfat
Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2023
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