A Summary of Eskom Load Shedding That has Happened Recently
Recent Eskom load shedding events have been cause for much distress amongst the South African population. Fuel prices are on the rise and power cuts continue to be phased on an almost daily basis. The aging infrastructure at Eskom is partly to blame for these load shedding events, with their ageing power plants and inadequate maintenance of equipment. In April 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet agreed to a partial unbundling of Eskom into three separate entities: Generation, Transmission, and Distribution. An overarching entity, Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., would manage them all.
Eskom has since implemented measures in order to optimize its current capacity levels but recent issues such as power station fires and other breakdowns still lead to outages across the country – leaving many homes, businesses and industrial facilities in the dark during peak times when they need electricity most. To further complicate things, one station recently tripped leading to a stage 6 level four blackout that affected more than 800 000 households nationwide – an unprecedented event in South Africa’s history of blackouts.
The situation seems likely to linger until the end of May 2019 when PTE Gordhan announced plans for additional emergency power supplies from vendors such as NORED and RESA – Renewable Energy Systems Africa Ltd). However, before South Africans can expect any power relief from this endeavour – numerous audits must be completed by experts using specialized quadrants. Unsurprisingly opinions are mixed as some feel relief closer whilst others remain sceptical until lights start flickering on again in those off-grid areas hardest hit by repeated outages earlier this year.
Given the situation South Africans have had no other choice but finding alternative solutions like diesel generators or solar panels in order to keep their businesses running or having light at night time. Some business owners opted out of cash based payment methodswhen experiencing frequent black outs; proof of which can be seen through businesses who switched over accept payments via GoSwft’s secure mobile solution which circumvented traditional electricity dependent Point Of Sales (POS) terminals entirely.
Ultimately, South African’s future lies with complete restructuring of the nation’s energy sector but like most things this process will take lots of time, money and resources before radical improvements can be seen throughout communities affected by blackouts country wide.. For now it is a waiting game gripping many residents into darkness unable to do anything more than hope today won’t bring another round of Eskom load shedding – at least not in their neighbourhood anyway.
What Causes Eskom Load Shedding and How Can it be Prevented?
Eskom load shedding has wreaked havoc on the South African electricity supply for years, to the point where power outages are so commonplace that most households are now well-versed in memorising which hours of their day require electricity and which don’t. The main cause of this load shedding is the poor maintenance of Eskom’s ageing power plants, combined with inadequate investment in new capacity – causing operational and financial stress. With Eskom’s plan to reduce its debt by 2030, there needs to be change.
To prevent load shedding, Eskom must work off its extensive debt by increasing efficiency, investing in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, closing old coal stations that are unprofitable and cannot compete with modern forms of energy production, introducing a smart grid system to enable innovative technology like storage solutions, time-of-use tariffs and additional demand technologies. These solutions have been increasingly adopted by other OECD countries who face similar issues of overburdened grids dealing with greater electricity demands.
In addition to conservation tactics such as Eskom’s push for deliberate awareness campaigns billed under ‘save like a hero’ consumers must also be mindful when consuming electricity; being aware when appliances are not needed or operate inefficiently can help immensely towards reducing the need for long-term solution promises from a cash-strapped utility company who battle both elevated levels of strain on infrastructure from lack of investment and deferred treatments necessary for maintenance.
Although government has attempted salvage plans such as appointing an entire utility task force – consisting of various state officials such as justice minister Ronald Lamola – the truth remains that only comprehensive solutions reached via industry experts will suffice. It is up to both citizens and government to collaborate if we want to make sure load shedding becomes something we look back at with disdain rather than prepare ourselves for further misery due to power shortages in South Africa’s future.
What the Future Holds for Eskom Load Shedding in South Africa
Eskom load shedding has caused a significant shock to the South African economy and its citizens. For more than four years, the country has been experiencing a severe energy crisis due to the ageing power infrastructure and mismanagement of Eskom, the state-owned electricity producer. As the electricity supplier remains unbearably strained, Stage 6 eskom load shedding began in December 2019 – forcing businesses, offices, and households across South Africa to plan their day’s activity around blackouts.
The full impact of this unprecedented power outage is yet to be felt by all. Projects have been disrupted leading to rising production costs and customer dissatisfaction. Businesses have also had to invest in fuel or diesel backup systems while households must contend with high energy bills when they’re unable to use solar or other renewable sources of energy.
But beyond the direct consequences experienced by consumers, investors are increasingly wary of putting resources into a system that’s barely able prove it can supply basic services for an extended period without problems. Severe shortages of generation capacity have made South Africa one of the most unreliable places for electricity. Many people simply can’t trust Eskom’s promises about restoring reliable operations anymore
So with all these challenges ahead, what should South Africans expect from Eskom load-shedding going forward? It’s evident that diversifying our energy mix away from an overreliance on coal-fired plants is key if we intend to make progress towards energy security. Despite months of progress at some coal-powered plants, improvements will not happen overnight as they require long-term financial investment and other reforms at Eskom – such as fixing its procurement process – in order for them go online again. Consequently businesses could increase their use of renewable energies like sun and wind power by connecting them directly into their homes or workplaces until there are sufficient advances achieved in managing our current national grid.
At home, individuals should start becoming proactive by looking into ways they can minimize their reliance on Eskom regardless of whether or not regular power outages occur. This might mean switching from using conventional lamps or battery operated flashlights at night during periods of load-shedding instead relying on generators if prolonged use is required owing to cost savings this offers consumers – not just for now but well into the future too! Other alternative options include installing inverters connected with batteries which will store any additional electricity produced during sunny days for later use during blackouts at night – operating either offgrid or in tandem with our main grid supply where necessary so power outages seem less frequent whilst ensuring we don’t get large bills associated with state suppliers producing no service when its needed most!
Now more than ever before it’s time that South Africans learn how they can develop better habits in order prepare themselves better against these types systemic risks due its near future reliability declining further – making long term sustainability paramount rather then temporarily palliative measures old fashioned methods once employed through successive governments years prior may suggest otherwise!