Eskom implements stage 2 loadshedding
South African state-owned power producer Eskom to implement Stage 2 loadshedding from midday today until 23:00 following overnight generation capacity loss.
Eskom spokesperson Sikhonathi Mantshantsha said this bout of loadshedding would go on until Sunday.
“Eskom would like to inform the public that Stage 2 loadshedding will be implemented starting at 12:00 this afternoon through to Sunday night. The loadshedding is necessary due to loss of generation capacity overnight. Loadshedding is also required to manage the use of the emergency reserves, which will help us contain the stage of loadshedding required. The system remains vulnerable and unpredictable, should any further breakdowns occur, the stage of loadshedding may change at short notice,” said Mantshantsha.
The power producer said that two generation units at the Kusile Power Station tripped due to the failure of the main coal feed conveyor belts supplying coal to the units. In addition to that, a single unit each at the Kriel and Duvha tripped due to what Mantshantsha said was “unforeseen breakdowns”.
He said that this meant that Eskom presently has four generation units whose return to service from planned maintenance has been delayed.
Mantshantsha said that currently Eskom had 5 358MW on planned maintenance, while another 14 748MW of capacity was unavailable due to unplanned maintenance, breakdowns and the outage delays mentioned above.
“Eskom personnel are working tirelessly to return as much of this capacity to service as soon as possible.”
In its weekly review, the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) said the persistent risk of load shedding was one of the numerous downside risks to its current forecast of 3.5 percent real GDP growth for 2021.
“The major upside for GDP could be higher-than expected real export growth. Staying on a more positive,albeit backward looking - note, the domestic section below outlined that while last week’s SA data releases for December 2020 emphasised a loss of recovery momentum in 2020Q4, the quarterly movements suggest some carry over from the robust third quarter,” said the BER.
Energy Partners Intelligence,a division of Energy Partners and part of the PSG group of companies Head of Business Development Tygue Theron said that sustainable energy evolution accelerated and opened possibilities for SA businesses in 2021.
“2020 saw a number of significant developments in the local energy space and, while this sector generally tends to shift relatively slowly, 2021 is likely to bring with it some of the most progressive changes in South Africa’s energy arena,” said Theron.
Energy Partners Intelligence said that despite the challenges of 2020, South Africa’s decommissioning of coal and roll-out of ‘green energy’ continued, with the country still on track to have at least 11GW of coal power decommissioned by 2030, as part of the Integrated Resource Plan 2019.
Theron said that added to this, government’s support for municipalities that aim to generate their own power has been gradually increasing.
“Mirroring this, in the private sector demand-side management and EaaS saw increased uptake, as businesses looked to cut costs and become more efficient. This was undoubtedly helped by the falling costs of both renewable energy and storage technology, especially in the accelerating solar energy sector, at least, in comparison to increasing grid tariffs.”
Theron said that as businesses reel from the damage caused by the pandemic, much of their efforts have been focused on areas like recovering lost revenue, and organising their Covid-19 operations and staff - with less time spent on energy efficiency. He said that many potentially positive developments in the energy space were stalled.
“Looking to the future, he says that grid tariffs are very likely to continue spiralling out of control. There is every indication that the sharp upward trend that we have seen in Eskom’s tariffs over the last eight years will continue perhaps only getting worse.”
The business development head said Eskom's commitment to the vertical separation of the organisation (into generation, distribution and transmission businesses) may see some positive changes.
“However, especially in light of the comments made by the state-owned utility around cost-reflective tariffs, electricity from the national grid will continue to burden businesses and consumers,” he said.
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