Loadshedding Will Continue, Warns Energy Analyst

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South Africans were caught by surprise on Monday when the country’s power utility, Eskom announced loadshedding just minutes before the nation was plunged into darkness. 


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While loadshedding has been suspended this morning, the country will have to deal with rolling blackouts from 5 PM this evening until 5 AM on Wednesday.

Eskom has warned that the country’s power supply is constrained and the situation will persist throughout the week.

They explained, “We are managing the emergency generation reserves to limit the stage of loadshedding. The overnight loadshedding will be used to replenish the dam level at the pump storage power stations in preparation for the remainder of the week.

Approximately 14 449 MW of capacity is unavailable due to unplanned breakdowns while 4 804 MW is unavailable due to planned maintenance.

Energy analyst Ted Blom says there were clear signs that loadshedding was imminent. He says with the weather situation over the weekend, it was clear that things would go pear-shaped.

Blom said, “They've [Eskom] been telling us for the last five years that the old stations are unreliable and that the new stations will rescue us. The fact of the matter is that even the new stations are delinquent in terms of performance and really that's where the problem is and the problem is exacerbated by the fact that the new stations have far bigger units than the very old stations”.

He explained that older power stations have 100 MW units, which if one or two go offline, it's not a big issue. However, with the new power stations having bigger units, if one unit goes offline the country could lose as much as 800 MW.

“The fact of the matter is that there are various risk parameters around the world in the energy industry that people tend to adhere to and those parameters come from years and years over 100 years of experience and unfortunately as long as the Eskom flagrantly breaches those parameters we will have unexpected loadshedding” declared Blom.

 

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