Ramokgopa Emphasizes Private Sector Role in Expanding Eskom Transmission System
Private Sector Liquidity and Renewable Energy Integration
Ramokgopa highlighted the need to tap into the liquidity available in the private sector to facilitate the expansion of the grid. This expansion is essential to accommodate the rollout of renewable energy solutions across the country, including those that have yet to be connected to the grid due to transmission constraints.
Avoiding Past Mistakes
Drawing from past experiences in the energy sector, Ramokgopa stressed the importance of avoiding the mistakes made on the generation side. He emphasized that relying solely on the private sector to resolve generation capacity issues was not a viable approach. Instead, active government involvement and collaboration are essential to create favorable conditions.
Commitment to Planned Maintenance
The Minister reaffirmed the commitment to carrying out planned maintenance on generating units to prevent potential failures in the future. This dedication to maintenance aims to maximize the available capacity and minimize disruptions.
Unplanned Capacity Loss Factor Progress
Ramokgopa noted that Eskom’s Unplanned Capacity Loss Factor (UCLF) showed progress, averaging approximately 13,751MW for the week of September 18-22. Efforts are underway to consistently reduce this figure further, with the goal of going below 13,000MW. Reducing UCLF contributes to increased available capacity and helps mitigate the impact of planned maintenance.
Challenges in Load Shedding Stages
The Minister acknowledged an increase in load shedding stages on a recent Monday, citing various reasons, including challenges faced in the Western Cape due to adverse weather conditions. He mentioned that Palmiet power station was significantly affected by these conditions, leading to operational difficulties.
Exemption for Storm-Affected Areas
In response to recent storms, parts of the Western and Eastern Cape were exempted from load shedding to support recovery efforts in these provinces.
The government’s proactive approach, coupled with private sector collaboration, aims to address critical infrastructure needs and improve the resilience of South Africa’s energy network.