UPDATE Stage 2 load shedding on pause from Tuesday, but
Monday, April 11, 2022
Eskom Puts Stage 2 Load Shed on Pause From Tuesday
Eskom says it will halt two more rounds of stage 2 load shedding on Tuesday and Wednesday due to multiple generating unit failures. The reduction in generating capacity has fluctuated between 30% and 40% for most of the year. Eskom says the load shedding is a precautionary measure. However‚ if Eskom doesn't stop the load shedding on Tuesday‚ it could reach stage 4 or 5.
Eskom's plan to decommission six coal-powered units could potentially push load shedding to stage 4 or stage 5
The power utility has announced that it is implementing a phase of load shedding starting from 09:00 on Wednesday until 05:00 on Friday. This is a further increase from the previous stage‚ which was a rotation of 400 MW. By Monday‚ load shedding will be reduced to stage 2. The new build programme launched by Eskom in 2005 has been delayed and has incurred substantial costs. Two coal-fired power plants‚ each of 4800 MW‚ are part of the programme. Regardless of the progress made so far‚ load shedding will still be required for a number of years. While some of the units are being decommissioned‚ others are under construction. Meanwhile‚ the aging power plants will not be able to cope with the extra demands of the winter. The power utility has said it is on course to have more power outages this winter. Eskom has stated that the national grid will be under tremendous pressure in winter as the temperatures fall. Eskom's load shedding alerts are depicting the domino effect of failures. Eskom has warned that it will be forced to cut back on electricity supply to reduce load shedding‚ but politicians are getting in the way. The current status quo is difficult to discern. As a result‚ Eskom has only recently acknowledged that the country had to move towards alternative energy sources to ensure its electricity supply. However‚ the government has not been transparent enough in its communication with Eskom on the issue. Indeed‚ the company has informed parliament about four bills that it intends to process this year. The proposed phase-out of the six coal-powered units may force the country to experience further electricity shortages. Several of the affected coal-powered units have suffered major problems and are resulting in power shortages. Eskom warned the government that load shedding could reach stage 8 in 2021 if the coal-powered units continue to be operated. The South African government is attempting to address the situation by enacting a new law that would require the removal of six coal-powered units.
Eskom's reduced generating capacity has fluctuated between 30% and 40% for much of the year
In the past year‚ Eskom has lost about 15% of its total generating capacity‚ mostly due to power station maintenance and breakdowns. With a 35-year life cycle‚ the company is under pressure to keep its generating capacity available at all times. If it fails to do so‚ the system will be unable to meet demand at peak times. But there are ways Eskom can address this problem. OCTGs are a key source of backup power for Eskom‚ which is used to mitigate the effects of load shedding. But Eskom has admitted that the mitigations were costly and that it used emergency reserves‚ or diesel supplies‚ to ensure adequate power supply. This has cost the utility millions of rands. In addition‚ Eskom has noted that its agreement with industry helped it conserve energy and reduce load shedding. In a competitive environment‚ the Peaking Operating Unit must execute the plan and ensure optimal production of power. In addition‚ it must maintain the plant to ensure that it meets demand. Peaking power stations include hydroelectric‚ pumped storage‚ and gas turbine units. Peaking generation is used when the system is constrained. Its reduced capacity is usually a percentage of the total generating capacity. While Eskom has promised to keep the lights on‚ a lack of maintenance and scheduled maintenance of generating units has compromised the stability of the national power grid. The power grid consists of three building blocks: the transmission network‚ the distribution network‚ and the distribution system. When one is out‚ the other must catch up. And Eskom has not been able to do this. While the reduction in generating capacity has been temporary‚ the long-term solution for the power crisis is to build more nuclear stations. Several foreign nuclear power companies have been in talks with Eskom to build new reactors in South Africa. During this time‚ the South African government is reportedly planning to invest some EUR 1 billion in nuclear power. In the meantime‚ the power company is also exploring other alternatives.
Eskom's load shedding portal
After the weekend‚ Eskom is putting its load shedding portal on pause. Load shedding will start again on Tuesday‚ from 09:00 until 06:00. This will follow a similar schedule to Stage 2 loadshedding. This load shedding schedule will run from Tuesday until the end of the week. The company plans to minimise the impact on traffic by implementing a break in loadshedding from 06:00 to 09:00 every day of the week. The decision to pause load shedding came after Eskom's emergency reserve was exhausted and it could no longer support the country's power grid. The company's load shedding portal had updated information about load shedding. Direct consumers can search for their area and find out when their electricity is scheduled to go off. While it's easy to navigate‚ the data is not 100% accurate. Eskom says that it will publish a full statement in due course. Eskom has put the stage 2 loadshedding portal on pause for today and tomorrow to reflect the tragic loss of King Goodwill Zwelithini. The company says it needs to replenish emergency generation reserves and will not implement stage two loadshedding until Monday and Tuesday evening. While it's true that loadshedding is a low priority today and tomorrow‚ it's best to wait until the system has recovered. The decision comes as a welcome relief for the public‚ as the company has put Stage 2 load shedding on hold for the week. While it's a big step forward for customers‚ the power shortage will be difficult to recover from‚ especially if it's not addressed as soon as possible. Eskom had warned of Stage 2 load shedding in the past but subsequently chose to suspend it until a full statement is issued. Following the aforementioned pause‚ Eskom has decided to reduce the load-shedding period from stage 2 to stage 1. The resulting period of time will be from 5pm to 10pm. The reduction in load shedding is expected to last until Sunday‚ 6 June 2021. In addition to that‚ the pause may be extended throughout the week. If the government fails to act soon‚ there will be severe consequences.
Preparations for load shedding
Eskom says that preparations for Stage 2 load shedding will resume at 5pm on Friday and continue until 10pm on Sunday. The company has extended the time period for emergency power procurement. Eskom said it is sorry for the inconvenience caused to consumers and businesses‚ and is working to resolve the situation. It said it is not a good time for customers to be without power. But for those that are already affected‚ it's the best time to avoid wasting money on electricity. Eskom has announced that there is a high likelihood of load shedding over the weekend. It is also expected to continue load shedding at Stage 2 on Thursday and Friday to prevent system instability. Currently‚ Eskom is reportedly suffering from a 2000MW shortfall and is doing critical maintenance on its plants. Eskom has warned that power cuts may be a fixture for the next 18 months. Eskom's UFLS metric measures how many times the system is activated‚ and how much load is interrupted. Eskom will be sure to communicate with people if crypto currency trading will be affected. Traders should be aware of the risks involved in the financial markets. Eskom is one of the most volatile forms of investment‚ so they should be aware of all the risks. The city of Cape Town has released an interactive map showing the locations of sub-stations and the current status of load shedding. The map is an interactive tool and residents can view the locations of sub-stations in adjacent zones. Regardless of which zone you live in‚ you should check the load shedding schedule before going out to buy power. Once the power is back on‚ you can switch back to your usual routine.