Iraq’s southern electricity grid has gone down three times over the past week as temperatures soared passed 50°C. The meltdown saw a number of power plants going offline for hours with the impact reaching other Iraqi provinces. The inability of Iraq’s dilapidated power system to meet the summer demand peak has become an annual occurrence, with government forecasts pointing to an expected 1.4GW year-on-year increase in peak demand to a new record 34.18GW for summer 2022 (MEES, 8 July).

On 2 August Iraq’s electricity ministry signalled a ten-day “state of emergency” in preparation for a heatwave (MEES, 5 August). Despite this, the power network went down in the three southern oil-rich provinces of Basra, Dhi Qar and Maysan. Outages lasted as long as 18 hours in some parts with blackouts felt in Baghdad and the mid-Euphrates region. (CONTINUED - 653 WORDS)