Advertise with

Power crisis is likely to worsen
Power crisis is likely to worsen

Power crisis is likely to worsen


IOL Business - Dec 8th 2014, 09:33

Cape Town - The national power crisis that has seen repeated blackouts daily around the country is likely to worsen, an energy analyst has warned.  

In addition, Eskom cannot promise that more intense load shedding will not be carried out over the coming days and weeks.

On Friday, the beleaguered power utility escalated load shedding from stage 2 to stage 3, meaning that instead of the electricity going off once a day in certain areas, it went out for a few hours several times.

Stage 3 power cuts continued on Saturday and even though stage 2 load shedding was predicted for today, it could be changed to stage 3.

On Saturday an employee at Eskom’s media desk, who declined to be named, said it was carrying out the power cuts now to avoid load shedding from this Friday until January.

“The system is actually quite volatile. It could get worse than it was in 2008, but at this stage it isn’t,” she said.

Stage 3 load shedding was implemented this week for the first time in 9 months because Eskom said water and diesel reserves were running dry and there were technical faults at three coal-powered units.

Chris Yelland, an energy analyst who was an electrical engineer for more than 20 years, said on Saturday, “The situation is likely to get worse before it gets better.”

He explained that planned shutdowns of power stations because of planned maintenance, and the unplanned shutdown of power stations due to breakdowns and a lack of maintenance, were affecting the country’s power situation.

Yelland said it was necessary for Eskom to keep the number of unplanned shutdowns steady and for them to increase planned shutdowns because there was a backlog of facilities in need of maintenance work.

“That means for the next year or so we’re going to have more power outages,” he said.
Yelland said it was necessary for Eskom to shut down power stations for maintenance and to carry out planned load shedding.

“They are doing it to avoid a national crisis,” he said.

Yelland said the present load shedding was being carried out in a more organised manner than in 2008.

This showed that Eskom had a plan to deal with it.

Rosemary Falcon, the South African Research Chairs Initiative chair of Clean Coal Technology at the University of the Witwatersrand, described the situation at Eskom as “an absolute package of disaster”.

“It certainly can’t get much worse… They’ve just got to keep going as best as they can,” she said.
Falcon said Eskom’s problems started brewing nearly two decades ago.

She said that in 1996, Eskom employers had approached the government to say that by 2007, they would be short of capacity and that they needed more coal- fired power stations. Nevertheless, Falcon said the government did not agree to this. Load shedding took place in 2008.

“The lack of capacity is historic,” Falcon said.

She said that running the massive power stations at a high velocity increased wear and tear at the facilities. This then resulted in maintenance problems. The recent spate of load shedding started about three weeks ago.

Power cut schedules are on the City of Cape Town and Eskom websiteFrom © Independent On-line 2013. All rights reserved. 

Read more about: south africa | load shedding | eskom | cape town

Related News

Kit Kat goes solar at Benoni Cash & Carry site
15/08/2019 - 09:11
In a bid to reduce its carbon footprint, mitigate load shedding and become less reliant on the national grid, the Kit Kat group has completed a solar power installation at its Benoni Cash & Carry store.

Mtuba Mall harnesses power of the sun
08/08/2019 - 11:32
With Eskom’s stability looking far from certain, businesses are searching for cheaper and more reliable alternatives to generate electricity.

Cape Town vs Johannesburg- where are retailers really winning?
15/07/2019 - 16:11
New global research by Vend, a cloud-based retail software platform for independent retailers, has found that Cape Town independent stores enjoy average transaction values up to 49% higher than retailers in Johannesburg.

No more load-shedding - Eskom's plan
04/04/2019 - 11:33
Gordhan said Eskom’s goal is to ensure there will be no load-shedding from 3rd April 2019 – but admitted there is a lot of hard work ahead for the company.

Facial recognition combats load-shedding shoplifting
26/03/2019 - 08:39
South Africa’s load-shedding woes are not limited to the inconvenience suffered by consumers. The country’s retailers are set for a dramatic spike in shoplifting, warns one facial recognition for business specialist.