Very bad news from Eskom
Electricity demand is projected to outstrip supply until Friday, which means that South Africans can expect load shedding for the rest of the week
Eskom executives were reportedly in emergency meetings on Monday as almost a third of its generation fleet was unavailable and load shedding was escalated to stage 2.
According to a system status bulletin issued late on Monday electricty demand was expected to outstrip supply on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
If Eskom’s projections prove to be accurate, the country will be subjected to load shedding on each of these days. Only when the demand drops over the weekend, will Eskom be able to cope with providing electricity to all users.
The utility’s unplanned outages increased to a shocking 10 515 MW on Monday. 3 429MW of generation capacity was taken out of service for planned maintenance. That means that a staggering total of 13 944MW, almost a third of Eskom’s generation capacity, was out of service on Monday.
In a statement announcing load shedding on Monday morning Eskom merely referred to “unexpected technical problems” that placed the power system under severe pressure, necessitating load shedding.
In its latest System Adequacy Outlook issued on January 14, energy regulator Nersa stated that electricity demand in South Africa was 4.78% lower in 2014 than in 2007. Electricity supply by Eskom decreased by 4.82% compared to 2007.
Nersa caluclated that Eskom should have had a reserve margin of 31.72% for 2014, taking into account power imports, renewable energy and other power purchases. In 2008 the corresponding margin was only 10.63%. Even if only Eskom’s own generation capacity was taken into account, it should have had a reserve margin of 26.69% in 2014, according to Nersa.
Nersa stated that Eskom’s outlook for 2015 is a capacity margin of 24.67%.