The Government anticipated a peak in electricity consumption -which finally occurred this Friday at 2:05 p.m. 28.136 MW— and attributed the phenomenon to two issues: on the one hand, the “virtuous circle of the reactivation of the economy” and, on the other, to the greater energy demand caused by the extreme heat wave that has plagued much of the country since the beginning of the week.
Thus, in order to avoid massive power outages —such as the one that occurred on Tuesday and affected 700,000 users— the Ministry of Energy agreed with companies and industries -the big users— that while this climatic phenomenon lasts they reduce their energy consumption to alleviate the tension of the system.
Who are these big users? What do they use the energy they consume? Cases of Acindar, Coto, Airports Argentina 2000, Alto Palermo, Loma Negra, Abril Club de Campo or Toyota.
Energy consumption, a reflection of economic and productive activity
One of the signs of economic recovery is, precisely, energy consumption. It is no coincidence that during the ASPO (Social, Preventive and Mandatory Isolation) arranged at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 – a period in which only essential industries, such as food and health, remained operational – lThe energy demand of the productive sector has marked a decrease.
The same thing had happened during 2019 —in the last year of the government of Mauricio Macri— in which, As a result of the crisis, industrial electricity consumption and that of large businesses fell -3.5% year-on-year, according to information from CAMMESA (Administrating Company of the Electric Wholesale Market SA). In that year, less was consumed than in 2013.
In December 2021 —again according to data from CAMMESA— the energy demand of large users grew 4.9% and today it is at levels prior to the isolation of March 2020. Even in many activities it is higher.
The higher rise in power consumption it occurs in aindustry-related activities, in relation to what happened in the first weeks of quarantine. A) Yes, 2021 closes a growth in demand of approximately +12.0%.
Seven major energy consumers and what they spend it on
The Large Users (GU) of energy are mainly companies and industries. But within this sector there are companies public and private of various items. From malls and large shopping centers, through countries, airports, refineries, food and mass consumption companies. Here are some cases:
-Acindar: this steel mill produces long steels to supply the industry in general. Steel is a fundamental component for the Civil construction (used in construction of buildings, bridges, highways, railways). It is also for oil, energy, automotive and agricultural production.
It develops, among a long etcetera, high-quality steel in billets, bars, wires, mesh, prefabricated structures, armor, wires, nails, profiles, angles, metal plates, bars for blacksmithing, posts and rods.
According to data from the Ministry of Economy —prepared based on information from CAMMESA— in february 2020 (latest official records available) the Acindar de la Tablada plant had registered a demand for 2.424 MWh (megawatts per hour), while the plant of the Villa Constitución company, in the province of Santa Fe, consumed about 78.208 MWh.
–Airports Argentina 2000: is he largest airport operator in the country. Manage 35 air terminals, between them airport (CABA) and the International Airport of Ezeiza. Its energy consumption is mainly intended for night lighting, to keep each hot air balloon operational and, in this way, guarantee the passenger and cargo air transportation.
It is worth remembering that in a pandemic 2020, international flights were suspended and then remained highly restricted around the world, but yes, flights with vitally important supplies such as coronavirus vaccines were maintained acquired —among other countries— from China, Russia and the United States and as the active ingredients to develop the manufacture of the Sputnik V vaccine in the country. In February 2020, Aeroparque sued 1.560 MWh and the Ezeiza airport 4.258 MWh.
-High Palermo: The emblematic shopping center was one of the first malls to be installed in the country, during the ’90s. Its energy consumption is mainly explained by the expense of lighting and refrigeration of the complex, in which commercial premises of items such as clothing, perfumery, decoration and gastronomy, among others, are housed. By February 2020, the shopping center had —according to official data— a demand for 995 MWh.
-April Country Club: It is a country located in the Buenos Aires town of Hudson, in the district of Berazategui —located 33.5 km from the City of Buenos Aires— developed and marketed by IRSA and Alto Palermo SA, on a property of 312 hectares in which weekend houses and permanent housing were built. Its energy expenditure points to the operational maintenance of the common areas of the private neighborhood, such as the lighting of the interior streets, and of the golf courses and the equestrian club. His consumption was 1.363 MWh in February 2020.
–Coto: the chain from hypermarkets which has branches in much of the country, also has three refrigerators that, in addition to supplying domestic consumption, exports its cuts to the European Union, China, Chile, Russia, Brazil, Hong Kong, the Emirates and African countries. In its branches, energy consumption is used for the operational maintenance of the shopping center —electricity, air conditioning and cold rooms mainly—. According to official information, in February 2020 ten of its branches (Abasto, Avellaneda, Ciudadela, Esteban Echeverría, González Catán, Lanús, Pompeya, Estación Segurola, Spinetto and Temperley) registered a consumption of 9,154 MWh.
-Black Hill: is the company that leads the production of cement and concrete, which is destined for the construction, for both civil and residential works throughout the country. At its plants in L’Amalí and Olavarría (the largest) it had an energy consumption of 17,501 and 14,443 MWh, respectively.
-Toyota: The plant destined for automotive production located in Zárate, Buenos Aires, led the production and export of vehicles in the country in 2020. It produced 93,828 units, 36.5% of the total of the Argentine automotive industry. In February of that year, he had a consumption of 5,805 MH.
The energy consumption of a family home
It is estimated that a family home has an average electricity consumption ranging between 150 and 300 kWh (kilowatts/hour) per month. This, of course, will vary depending on factors such as seasonal factors (in winter and summer there are usually peaks in consumption due to the use of heating and air conditioning), the surface area (the more square meters of the property, the greater consumption) and the number and type of electrical appliances used. Another fact to take into account is the number of inhabitants of the house.
For example, a house in the south of Greater Buenos Aires in which three people live had a monthly consumption of 490 KWH in January 2021 (this is 0.49 MWH). It should be noted that this consumption included the use of an air conditioner of 4500 frigories on days of high temperatures.
How to calculate the consumption of our house
The ENRE (National Electricity Regulatory Entity) developed a online calculator so that users can estimate the energy consumption of your home. With this tool it is possible to select the type of electronic devices you have and add how many hours per day and how many days per week they are used.
Clarification: the result obtained according to the appliances included in the calculation and the number of hours and days used results in the consumption measured in KWH and not its economic cost..
Historical record of electricity and reactivation
Given the heat wave and the record energy consumption experienced this day, andhe Secretary of Energy, Darío Martínez, asked the industrial sector to implement a “reduction in energy demand” between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.. The Government’s request was made to those factories that “do not have continuous cycles.”
Martínez estimated that a historical consumption record of 28,550 megawatts is projected and linked it, in addition to the heat wave, to the process of economic reactivation that Argentina is experiencing. “We have reached out to large users and ask them to reduce energy demand. This measure accompanies the President’s decision to set an example from the State. It is a decision that has the objective of prioritizing residential energy, the neighbors’ house”, he expressed.
Record consumption and massive blackout in the AMBA
This Tuesday 700,000 users, mainly from the Federal Capital and the northern area of Greater Buenos Aires, were left without electricity as a result of a massive failure of the electrical system that occurred at a time when the temperature marked 41.1 degrees in the City, the second highest record in the history of Buenos Aires .
Minutes before the blackout, a peak in electricity demand was recorded: 27,178 MW. As explained by Edenor, at 1:00 p.m. there was a fire in a house in the San Martín district which led to the outage of a high voltage line, affecting the supply in the districts of Tigre, San Fernando and San Martín.
Shortly after, the generators of the Nuevo Puerto power plant went out of service, affecting a large part of the northern corridor of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires and the suburbs.