Electricity use reached 36.39 billion kWh in May, up 2.6 percent on-year amid fears of a power shortage this summer, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said Tuesday.
The amount rose due to an increase in exports by industries like steelmakers that use a lot of power. Demand for electricity rose 3 percent on-year as exports of iron and steel products increased 6.2 percent in May.
Power use in the semiconductor and chemical industry also increased 8.9 percent and in the car industry 5.8 percent.
The heat wave is also being blamed for the increase in power use last month. The average temperature in five major cities rose from 14.1 degrees Celsius in May last year to 16.5 degrees Celsius this May.
Government agencies decided to stage a nationwide emergency blackout drill on Thursday afternoon ahead of skyrocketing power use in the summer.
The drill will start at 2 p.m. , when electricity demand peaks, and last 20 minutes on the assumption that electricity reserve capacity stands at less than 2 million kW due to the sultry weather, a ministry official said.