Eskom has warned loadshedding could last for the rest of the week as a result of more constraints on the generation system.
Durban – ESKOM has warned loadshedding could last for the rest of the week as a result of more constraints on the generation system.
The power utility on Tuesday implemented Stage 2 load shedding and said this was due to multiple unit breakdowns.
Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said 10 generation units at seven power stations had suffered breakdowns since Sunday.
He said generators broke down at Arnot, Medupi, Lethabo and Matla power stations, while two units each at Majuba, Camden and Tutuka power stations had also broken down.
He said this, together with the need to conserve emergency generation reserves, necessitated power outages be implemented to protect the integrity of the system.
“Unplanned breakdowns stand at 11665MW of capacity, adding to the 4558MW currently out on planned maintenance.”
He said any further deterioration in the generation performance may necessitate the escalation of load shedding at short notice.
“As the aged generation infrastructure is unreliable and volatile, this constrained power system is expected to persist for the rest of the week,” said Mantshantsha.
The South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) said these power interruptions were inconvenient and came at a massive cost to the economy.
Barry Bredenkamp, general manager Energy Efficiency and Corporate Communications at Sanedi, said it was reported there had been an economic loss of R338 billion over the past 10 years because of load shedding, with last year being the worst year on record for blackouts.
Bredenkamp added that continued outages were something the country could ill-afford coming out of a global pandemic.
“We believe that energy efficiency is vital for improved electricity provision and economic recovery.
“The International Energy Agency (IEA) has reported that in 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the energy landscape and the priorities of governments around the world. Like many other countries, South Africa’s efforts have been focused on disaster management,” he said.
Bredenkamp stressed the importance of energy efficiency as a key tool that governments could use to respond to the severe economic, environmental and social development consequences of the crisis.
“Ambitious energy efficiency action can be mobilised quickly to create jobs, stimulate local economic activity, and improve energy affordability, thus helping South Africa accelerate the achievement of our recovery goals,” he added.