South Africa

Power cuts and costs could RISE with incoming renewable energy

Former Eskom consultant and lead campaign manager at Hohm Energy Mathew Cruise believes that the power utility’s estimation of power cuts may be too optimistic. 

Power cut estimation may not be accurate

Eskom recently announced that South Africans will face around 61 days of power cuts over winter.

This amounts to about one power cut every three days. Cruise explained that in the coming five years, not only will the frequency of load shedding double but the price of electricity will too.

With the long history of power cuts from Eskom, the news of 61 days without power is no surprise for Saffas.

Renewable energy could be a reality in SA

Although interest rate increases will be a major factor in electricity price rises, the frequency in which locals have been experiencing load shedding points toward a capacity issue. This comes as South Africa takes a step toward shutting coal plants down and bringing in renewable energy.

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Coal plants are expected to close down within the next five years, paving the way for renewable energy. However, the energy capacity for Eskom will significantly decrease. This is caused by the fact that renewable energy sources do not have enough capacity to fully replace coal.

To add to this, solar power energy can only store power during the day. This causes problems during peak usage hours such as nighttime. This change to renewable energy could increase the frequency of load shedding.

It could also increase Eskom’s reliance on diesel as a backup power source, which will cost South Africa billions of rands, reports 702fm.

De Ruyter: Eskom ‘working very hard’ to SUSPEND load shedding

Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter has assured South Africans they are doing all they can to end the latest bout of load shedding.

The embattled power utility re-introduced stage 2 load shedding on Tuesday, 3 May 2022, due to a shortage of generation capacity and breakdowns at some of its stations. Citizens will now be forced to put up with rolling blackouts at least until Monday – but De Ruyter is hoping that it happens a lot sooner.

The power utility was scheduled to hold another media briefing on the state of the grid on Thursday, 5 May 2022, but spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said there was currently no need as not much has changed. Read the full story here.

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