Electricity in the Republic of Maldives: an Analysis on the Demand, Supply and Prediction of the Future Growth in Male’

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The islands of the republic of Maldives, barely 1.5 m above sea level, with 80% of it less than 1m above mean sea level represent only a tiny fraction of the global green house emission and yet, are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. In Maldives, electricity is produced only using diesel generators, a method that’s the most expensive and environmentally harmful. The State Electric Company (STELCO) is the main organization fully owned by the government that produces the required electricity in the Maldives and yet caters for about 60% of the population while the remaining 40% is met by the production of Island Development Communities (IDCs) and Non Government Organizations (NGOs). The STELCO power plant in Male’ is the largest power plant in the country and operates with an installed capacity of 50MW, as of December 2010. It is also known as the most reliable facility in the country, and yet has repeatedly failed to meet the demand in Male’ reflecting the operational inefficiency of the facility. This paper critically analyzes the supply and demand of electricity in Male’ based on the data obtained from STELCO head office attempting to identify the possible reasons behind its operational failures in the past. The load demand for the next 15 years was forecasted using multiple linear regression algorithm and it revealed that the growth in demand would reach as high as 140 MW peak within the next fifteen years while 71% of the total electricity produced by STELCO nationwide, is produced and consumed in Male’ alone. The interpretability of the model was tested by comparing the actual demand recorded by STELCO for ten years, to the estimted demand for the same period using the model and the results revealed that the model had good interpretabillity.
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Electricity Demand and Supply; Load Forecasting; Multiple Linear Regression Algorithm

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