Energy Analyst Chris Yelland says the only solution to South Africa’s ongoing electricity crisis is for consumers to seek alternate sources of power.
Eskom has started implementing stage four load shedding, which will continue until five o’clock on Friday morning, after which stage two will be implemented.
The power utility says this is due to a shortage of generation capacity and units tripping at several power stations. Yelland says load shedding will continue because Eskom has failed to procure any new generation capacity since the gazetting of the integrated resources plan in 2019.
“We’ve had level four load shedding before. We’re going to have it again in the future. We’ve had stage six load shedding before. We may have that again in the future. You’ve got to understand, the old plants are getting older. The new plants are not performing like new plants. And we have not procured not one kilowatt of new generation capacity since the integration resources plan for electricity was gazetted in October 2019. So, in the space of close on two years, we’ve not added one new kilowatt to the grid. That’s the problem.”
South Africa is currently on stage 4 load shedding:
Yelland says South Africa has significant natural resources – like sunshine hours and wind – which can be harnessed as power-generating sources.
“The more they generate themselves, the less burden Eskom will have to bear, and its a burden they currently cannot meet. Everything from domestic consumers to agricultural consumers, I’m talking about farms, business, commerce, industry, and mining. These are all areas in which self-generation, solar PV, and wind, using the grid to wield power from the point of generation to the point of consumption, will all make a huge difference. We need to harness the wind and sun and fortunately, in SA, we have absolutely ideal natural resources in this field.”
Energy Analyst Chris Yelland says South Africa’s current state of the power system is concerning: