Blackouts in Abkhazia scheduled for October to cope with electricity shortage
The government of Abkhazia has scheduled blackouts in October to counter the electricity shortage. One of the reasons for the higher consumption is cryptocurrency mining, which has continued despite the ban. The president of Abkhazia says that the problem cannot be solved quickly simply by turning off the lights.
By February 15, 2021, when the hydroelectric power station will be shut down for three-months for repairs, the electricity deficit in Abkhazia may reach 150,000,000 kWh, said head of the Enguri hydroelectric power station (the only power plant feeding the republic) Levan Mebonia. He says that if rolling blackouts are not introduced now, then during the cold months, when power consumption increases, the power lines will simply be unable to withstand the load.
President: the problem will not be solved quickly
President Aslan Bzhania called the power supply a serious problem, for the solution of which a ‘road map’ should be developed.
Speaking to the leaders of the Ochamchira region, he recalled that, as a member of parliament, he was categorically against adopting an energy law, which would prohibit private individuals from investing in the power industry. Investing in hydroelectric power plants with a capacity of no more than five MW is permitted, but investments in transmission, distribution networks and in the sale of electricity are prohibited.
“Electricity is a commodity, the cost of electricity is cheap and we cannot afford to increase it. Therefore, we were at a dead end. This problem also requires a serious approach.
“It will take from three to six months to develop a road map to solving this problem. A huge number of mistakes were made. Now the government is working out anti-crisis measures”, says the president.
Mining is the source of the problem
Besides that, the main source of the country’s problem, says Bzhania, is cryptocurrency mining, which has created the huge energy deficit.
Cryptocurrency continues to be mined in the republic, which consumes a huge amount of energy
Mining in Abkhazia has been banned since December 2018, although due to the lack of fines and sanctions, the “taboo” is completely ineffective, as a result, the number of mining farms operating in the country has quadrupled over the past year and a half.
After the unsuccessful ban, the Abkhaz authorities have decided to legalize mining.
“Work is underway to record and identify the locations where these “farms” are installed, and it will be impossible to hide anything. At the same time, a government decree is being prepared, which will regulate this process in the best way possible.. We will not ban mining, but the state will regulate the process properly. This is one of the stages in solving our energy problems”, said Bzhania.