Queenslanders urged to watch energy use amid heatwave
Queenslanders have been urged to limit their energy use after near-record demand in heatwave conditions led to blackouts.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned on Tuesday that the power grid could struggle to keep up with demand set to peak in the coming days as temperatures continue to soar in central and south-east Queensland.
“We expect to see the peak usage of all our energy supplies tonight,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
His fears came true with Energex reporting more than 23,000 emergency outages in the state’s southeast alone as of 5pm on Tuesday as Queenslanders tried to beat the heat.
Learn more about how you can help https://t.co/IEOF11jMa4 pic.twitter.com/VwulciPW3L
— Powerlink Queensland (@powerlinkqld) February 1, 2022
Energy Minister Mick de Brenni expects demand on a public electricity grid already operating at reduced capacity to reach record levels in the coming days.
However, he assured Queenslanders that essential services such as hospitals, transport networks, ports, airports and other key infrastructure would remain online.
He said power companies were already working to limit demand, with large industrial users being urged to reduce their use.
“It is possible that Queensland’s previous record demand of 10,044 MW (set in 2019) will be exceeded today or tomorrow,” he said.
“As we work with major electricity users to manage demand, households can also take simple steps to help, such as turning off standby appliances and other appliances where it’s safe to do so during peak hours. evening.”
— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) February 1, 2022
Powerlink Queensland, which is responsible for the state’s power transmission infrastructure, confirmed that essential services would be prioritized.
“Unfortunately Queensland has several large generators undergoing emergency maintenance which has reduced the supply available,” said Powerlink CEO Paul Simshauser.
“In the event of a supply outage, it is important to note that emergency services and other priority groups such as hospitals and nursing homes will have priority access to electricity supply to ensure the availability of essential services.”
Heatwave conditions are not expected to ease in South East and Central Queensland until Thursday.
Temperatures reached 34.7 degrees in the city of Brisbane on Tuesday with an apparent temperature of 39 degrees.
To the west of Brisbane, Balonne Shire’s St George and Dirranbandi hit 40 degrees with Cunnamulla (Paroo Shire) and the border town of Goondiwindi.
“There is an oppressive night ahead for the southeast and it will be hot and humid again on Wednesday,” Harry Clark of the Bureau of Meteorology told AAP.
“Late tomorrow there will likely be a reprieve with showers coming in from the west.”
Showers and widespread rain are forecast for eastern Queensland on Thursday before clearing up the next day.
The Queensland Ambulance Service has urged the public to stay hydrated during the heatwave, check on vulnerable members of the community, avoid working outside from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., be sun safe and not leave pets or unsupervised children in vehicles.
The QAS said symptoms to be wary of were fatigue, headache, nausea, dizziness and fainting, adding that the heat could lead to potential seizures.