A spokesman for the ministry of electricity has reported that plans are being considered to move the national grid underground, in order to prevent citizens illegally taking power supplies directly from overhead distribution lines.
Musab al-Mudarres told AKnews that the practice of taking electricity directly from local power lines is widespread across Iraqi, and the ministry does not have the power or resources to prevent them.
“Underground networks have proved successful in some areas of Baghdad such as Zayouna and Yarmouk where they have replaced the overhead power lines,” Mudarres said, adding that similar projects have been set up in Sadr City and Adhamiya.
Last July the Iraqi government launched a campaign in the capital to put an end to the public theft of national power supplies in response to public protests over limited hours of domestic provision.
According to government figures, the energy available to Iraq is around 9 thousand megawatts of energy, while demand is estimated at up to 14 thousand megawatts during the summer months.
The Iraqi government has announced plans to increase the country’s generative capacity to 27,000 megawatts over the next four years, requiring an investment of between $3bn and $4bn per year.
The majority of households across the Iraqi provinces have between six and eight hours of national electricity each day.
This poor provision of electricity has been one of the main grievances of protestors in the wave of public demonstrations that have swept through Iraq over the past month.