Last Updated: 01 November 2021
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Power Quality in East Timor (Timor-Leste)
East Timor, officially known as the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, is a small island nation in Southeast Asia with a population of around 1.4 million. Despite being rich in natural resources, the country faces significant challenges in providing reliable electricity to its population.
The distribution network is in poor condition, with excessive voltage drops and persistent service outages. The cost of electricity is also higher than in neighbouring countries, and Timor-Leste has been slow to transition from expensive diesel generation to renewables.
Power Sector in East Timor (Timor-Leste)
The electricity supply network in East Timor is in a state of flux. The government is currently in the process of implementing a nationwide electrification plan, which aims to increase access to grid electricity from its current level of around 30% to 100% by 2030. The plan is being supported by international partners, including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, and involves a mix of grid and off-grid solutions, including installing solar home systems and mini-grids.
Currently, the majority of the population in East Timor relies on off-grid solutions for their electricity needs, such as diesel generators and solar home systems. These solutions are often expensive and unreliable, with frequent power outages and high maintenance costs. The government is aware of these issues and is working to address them through its electrification plan.
One of the main challenges facing the electricity supply network in East Timor is its ageing infrastructure. Much of the country’s existing grid infrastructure was damaged during the Indonesian occupation in the late 1990s, and since then, little investment has been made in upgrading and modernising the system. This has resulted in frequent power outages, particularly during the rainy season when storms and heavy rainfall can cause significant damage to the grid.
Another challenge facing the electricity supply network in East Timor is the country’s rugged terrain and scattered population. The country’s mountainous terrain and lack of road infrastructure make connecting remote communities to the grid difficult. Many communities are located too far from the existing grid infrastructure to be connected via traditional means. As a result, the government is turning to off-grid solutions, such as solar home systems and mini-grids, to provide electricity to these communities.
In conclusion, the state of the electricity supply network in East Timor is currently in a state of transition. The government is working to improve access to reliable electricity through its electrification plan, which involves a mix of grid and off-grid solutions. While significant challenges face the electricity supply network, particularly in terms of ageing infrastructure and the country’s rugged terrain, the government’s efforts to improve access to electricity are a positive step forward for the country’s development.
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