Loadshedding? One year later

Loadshedding? One year later

Earlier this month (August) South Africans celebrated a year of no Loadshedding. Yes it’s been a year already.

Yet today South Africans wait nervously to see if Loadshedding will return or whether it will be a story we tell our grand children.

Facts are:

Eskom has had a strict winter and summer maintenance budget that comprises 8.5 GW for winter and 11.5 GW for summer. And with the existing Generation Sustainability Strategy, Eskom aims to achieve 80% plant availability for Spring & Summer.

This has meant a sharp reduction in the use of Open Cycle Gas Turbines (OCGTs) which burns large volumes of diesel and is our most expensive ways to generate power. It was reported that Eskom’s diesel bill for OCGTs was cut by R829m in May.

The last time Eskom ran OCGTs to manage the system was on June 14 this year. BUT many analysts say Eskom’s run of no load shedding has a lot to do with the decreasing demand of electricity than managing the system.

Interestingly Eskom reported the highest peak in demand for electricity on August 1 2016 at 34 922 MW without the need for the OCGTs, which is an increase in demand from last year.

Today Eskom is improving performance of the existing ageing fleet on the one hand while building new generating capacity. 6 months ahead of schedule President Zuma launched Unit 4 of the Ingula Pumped Storage in July this year adding 333 MW into the national grid.

Eskom is also continuing to execute its build programme that will bring much-needed power to support South Africa’s economic growth. Kusile power station completed acceptance testing and is expected to be commercially operational in July 2018. Medupi’s Unit 5 completed its factory acceptance tests in December last year, and is expected to come into full operation by March 2018.

SO is the hype of Loadshedding over? One can’t be sure but thing is certain: Business that based its market on this hype is not sustainable

It’s time to look at the bigger picture. We need to put Solar and the business of Solar into context, not as a solution to loadshedding but as a sustainable solution for our economy and its environmental impact.

(If you need convincing on the benefits of going solar please read more here)

With 26 years experience Microcare offers everyday solutions for South Africans who are passionate to support local, create jobs, build our economy, develop skills and provide sustainable solutions


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