ELECTRICITY power cuts in the Balearics between 2000 and 2003 have meant about 26 hours of unplanned loss of energy supply, more than double the national average for the same period (10 hours). According to reports from the regional ministery for Commerce, Industry and Energy, the power cuts which were intentionally programmed during these four years in the Balearics amounted to three hours, in contrast to a national average of two hours. Similarly, between 2001 and 2003 in the Balearics, there were 15 unplanned cuts in supply, while the state average for this period registered at eight cuts. In spite of the fact that the Islands are above the national average both in frequency and length of power cuts, the Ministry pointed out that it has to be taken into account that in 2000 and 2003, the Islands faced a situation of “zero electricity”. The department also emphasised that consideration has to be made of the fact that being cut off from the mainland, the Islands do not enjoy “parity of conditions” with the Peninsula. The Balearics is not as yet linked to the mainland electricity distribution grid and is therefore dependent on an “isolated” system. Faced with record-breaking demands, the Islands' system “is much more unstable” and “the risks of suffering a total blackout are greater than on the mainland” said the same sources. With everything considered, the report “indicates that there is room for improvement in the power supply in the Balearics” and above all in certain areas such as Arta, Capdepera, Muro and Santa Eulalia del Riu, “where there are significant deficiencies”. Some of the districts, say the department, are registering important increases in demand. The supply lines currently in use were built for small-scale consumers with the result that the construction of new distribution lines in conjunction with an adequately proportioned distribution network is needed.

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