The Balearic government last night moved to ease consumer concerns that the unusually cold temperatures could spark an electricity crisis over the next few weeks. With freezing temperatures causing major problems to power supplies on the mainland, Balearic Minister for Innovation and Energy, Priam Villalonga, said yesterday that while demand for power is up on this time last year, “it is still way short of the maximum level of demand during August” adding that there is a large enough buffer zone to guarantee supply this Christmas. According to electricity and gas company GESA, the freezing temperatures in the Balearics sent demand for power soaring on Tuesday to a new December record. But demand on August 29 was still 20 per cent higher than the day before yesterday. GESA is also adamant there will be no problems with power supply or black-outs in the Balearics. Balearic met office boss Agusti Llança said yesterday that while temperatures are currently below the norm for this time of year “they will not reach extreme lows.” Llança said that on Tuesday, temperatures fell to just below three degrees, but on December 17, the Balearic minimum was one degree. The future of power was guaranteed yesterday with the proposed 37'710 million peseta Balearic natural gas link to the mainland included in the national power plan. By 2004, the Balearics should be receiving gas from Valencia.

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