Eskom CEO, Andre de Ruyter, load shedding, Stage 15 load shedding, emissions, air quality standards, renewable energy

Stage 15 load shedding was trending last night after Eskom CEO André de Ruyter touched on the topic. Image: Stock Image / Pixabay and eskom.co.za

ICYMI: Stage 15 load shedding – What could cause it?

Eskom CEO André de Ruyter explained why and how South Africa would ever be put into Stage 15 load shedding.

Eskom CEO, Andre de Ruyter, load shedding, Stage 15 load shedding, emissions, air quality standards, renewable energy

Stage 15 load shedding was trending last night after Eskom CEO André de Ruyter touched on the topic. Image: Stock Image / Pixabay and eskom.co.za

Eskom CEO André de Ruyter was speaking at the Africa Renewables Investment Summit in Cape Town when he touched on the topic of Stage 15 load shedding.

Air quality standards and lack of investment in renewable energy could plunge SA into Stage 15

De Ruyter says he doesn’t want to know what that looks like. MyBroadband reports that if SA does not aggressively invest in renewable energy and relaxes its air quality standards, we may actually see Stage 15 load shedding.

Eskom’s models reportedly show that Stage 15 might need to be implemented if the above is not done. De Ruyter says that if this level of load shedding is implemented, it would cost 100 000 jobs.

Stage 15 load shedding. I don’t want to know what that looks like,” he said.

What are the power utility’s options?

De Ruyter was speaking about Eskom’s existing coal power stations and how they do not meet minimum emission standards. Due to this, the embattled power utility is left with two options:

  1. Spend about R300 billion to retrofit the power stations with equipment to clean their emissions or;
  2. Decommission them.

The extremely high cost of this project would lead to increased electricity tariff hikes. This year, the utility applied for a massive 32% price increase. If the retrofitting option is completely off the table, Eskom is forced to shut down 16GW (gigawatt) of capacity immediately and 30GW by 2025.

The current load shedding schedules go up to Stage 8 – but for how long?

De Ruyter says he doesn’t want to know what Stage 15 looks like. Image: Canva

Eskom’s worst case scenario: SA could face ‘three-week blackout’

Previously, it was reported that Eskom published details about the post-load shedding process, and what would happen if things like targeted power cuts failed to prevent a major disaster. The firm has revealed that, in the event of a grid collapse, South Africa would be left without electricity ‘for weeks’.

The rather gloomy update was published earlier on Tuesday, 20 September. South Africa’s worst-performing utility has currently got the country at Stage 5 of load shedding, down from a peak of Stage 6 over the weekend. Some, however, suspect that Eskom secretly went even further.

The only planned stages of load shedding that Eskom has never formally declared are Stage 7 and Stage 8. This would create outages of more than 12 hours a day for millions of South Africans. This seems like a nightmare, but unfortunately, this wouldn’t be the worst-case scenario. Read the full story here.