What to expect from Eskom this weekend

Eskom says that its load shedding prognosis for Friday remains high with the capacity  available to meet the evening peak demand at 29,191 MW, while demand is forecast
at 30,345 MW.

The weekend is expected to be equally tight, with peak demand expected to exceed supply, the national energy supplier said in its latest system status bulletin.

Eskom has been forced into rolling blackouts in 2015 following the collapse of one of its coal storage silos, diesel shortages, and maintenance issues.

On Tuesday, Eskom was forced into stage one of rolling blackouts due to the breaking down of at least two generators.

As Winter approaches, a spokesperson for the group warned earlier in the week that the colder weather was affecting power supply  as more people were using heaters earlier than had been expected.

A National Energy Regulator (NERSA) System Adequacy Outlook published at the end of March, and based on Eskom reports, showed that total power capacity unavailable during the three months from January to March 2015 stood at 12,149MW, or 28.85%.

This was up from 9,346MW, or 22.2% in 2014, and 9,008MW or 21.39 of total capacity in 2013.

The forecast for the weekend is as follows:

  • Saturday  (11 April): The capacity available to meet that evening’s peak demand is  28,218 MW (including open cycle gas turbines) while demand is forecast at 28,898 MW.
  • Sunday (12 April): The capacity available to meet that evening’s peak demand is 28,532MW (including open cycle gas turbines) while demand is forecast at 28,848MW.

Power demand is also expected to outstrip supply to Wednesday next week, according to the the Eskom forecast.

Eskom Supply and Demand
Eskom Supply and Demand 10 April – 15 April

Power shortages in South Africa has curbed economic growth by as much as 10%, while also preventing mass employment opportunities, Dawie Roodt, chief economist at Efficient Group told Bloomberg.

“That is more than 300 billion rand ($25.3 billion), or more than a million job opportunities,” the economist said.

A presentation by the department of public enterprises to parliament at the end of March said that power cuts implemented by Eskom cost South Africa’s economy between $1.7 billion (R20 billion) and $6.8 billion (R80.1 billion) a month.

On Thursday, the government welcomed a R4 billion loan to Eskom from German Development Bank KfW.

The loan is part of Eskom’s approved funding plan and will run over 15 years with capital repayments only after the first 5 years.

The loan will be repaid in Rands which frees up banking lines for other financing transactions.

“The loan comes at a critical juncture in our national effort to stabilise the national grid and Eskom’s finances. It allows all us the space to diversify our energy sources and ensure more sustainable power generation,” said government communication and information system, acting director general, Donald Liphoko.

The money will be used to build the Kiwano solar thermal power station in Upington, Northern Cape and the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme in Braamhoek, KwaZulu-Natal. The completed Kiwano solar thermal power station will add 100MW to the national grid while Ingula will provide an additional 1,332MW.

The government said is working to radically transform the country’s energy sector and has developed a sustainable energy mix in which renewable energy makes up a significant portion of 11.4 Gigawatts.

More on Eskom

Eskom power crisis has cost SA 1 million jobs

Eskom load shedding warning amid cold weather

Eskom a “positive crisis”: ANC

Eskom blackouts cost South Africa R80 billion per month

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What to expect from Eskom this weekend