Concerns Over Eskom Load-Shedding – Possible Stage 8. The electricity minister, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, has been accused of misleading South Africans about the severity of load-shedding.
Because of the loss of generating units overnight, Eskom reinstated stage 6 load-shedding on Wednesday. Additionally, its emergency reserves could not be replenished.
According to Eskom, the pumped storage levels in its dams couldn’t be replenished due to the heavy use of its open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs).
Concerns Over Eskom Load-Shedding – Possible Stage 8
Following Eskom’s announcement about stage 8 load-shedding still being possible, given the quality of its generation fleet, this announcement comes shortly after Eskom’s announcement about stage 8 load-shedding.
“Load-shedding at Stages 3 and 4 is expected during warmer periods, while at higher levels during colder periods,” Eskom said. It may be necessary to impose high levels of load-shedding for a short period of time as a result of multiple generator breakdowns.
Earlier this week, South Africa’s electricity generation capacity showed signs of improvement and stabilization, according to Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa.
Ramokgopa noted that Eskom could maintain a much lower level of load shedding due to improvements in the energy availability factor (EAF). For the past 14 days, Eskom has averaged 60% on average and is much closer to achieving its 70% EAF target.
“We have maintained our trend line. Approximately 60% of the energy is available, he said.
“While load-shedding is bad in every sense, you can see that we’re able to maintain the permutation of stage 0 through 3 or stage 1 through 3.
Experts disputed Ramokgopa’s claims, claiming the higher EAF is the result of design and not an improvement in performance. When looking at the year-over-year change, Chris Yelland said Eskom’s EAF is still on a downward trend.
Compared with 59.35% for the same period of 2022, Eskom’s EAF for the first nine months of this year has dropped to 53.77%. Efforts from the government to portray the energy availability factor as rising to 70% are incorrect, he explained.
Similarly, Professor Anton Eberhard said it’s instructive to remember the long-term trend in performance at a time when South Africa is experiencing stage 6 load-shedding again.
With Eskom’s ageing fleet of power stations that require greater maintenance and are more prone to breakdowns, there are no short-term miracles.
During the last four years, Eskom’s EAF has rapidly declined, according to Eberhard’s chart.
Electricity Minister misleading South Africans – DA
Ramokgopa was accused by DA MP Samantha Graham-Maré of misleading the public by claiming the capacity recovery was sustainable.
The Ramokgopa government gave misleading information to the public to influence public opinion on load-shedding. Ramokgopa, according to her, has not done anything of note since he was appointed except to pursue a misleading public relations campaign.
Despite government claims that load-shedding had been contained, Graham-Maré claims that the government has failed to take action.
As South Africa’s energy supply stabilizes, load-shedding will soon be history, according to ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula.
According to Ramaphosa, the measures taken so far to stabilise electricity production have relieved the load shedding situation.
The government is accused of intentionally misleading South Africans about the true extent of the electricity crisis after the country was forced to deal with stage 6 load-shedding again.
It is estimated that Eskom uses 22 OCGTs to limit load-shedding, resulting in a monthly diesel expenditure of R3 billion.
Normally, Open Cycle Gas Turbines operate at around 10% of their capacity, which is not sustainable. “We are at 60% at the moment,” she said.
There is only a short-term solution available to the government. The country is in trouble because they don’t have a long-term plan.”