load shedding eskom

Eskom Distribution has a R70-billion backlog of infrastructure maintenance and refurbishment. Image: Pixabay

Latest load shedding data: Illegal connections cost Eskom R22 billion per year

Illegal connections cost Eskom 15% of its annual revenue. Read on for more data on SA’s current electricity challenges.

load shedding eskom

Eskom Distribution has a R70-billion backlog of infrastructure maintenance and refurbishment. Image: Pixabay

Load shedding and the price of electricity are projected to double over the next five years. A lot of this can be attributed to Eskom Distribution’s R70-billion backlog of infrastructure maintenance and refurbishment.

Better Bond’s latest property brief (that looks into variables affecting property prices in South Africa) has crunched the numbers on SA’s current power woes and broken them down:

  • Load shedding in 2023 is already 50% more than in 2022. Between 2021 and 2022 the hours of load shedding tripled.
  • South Africa’s peak demand is 32,000MW; its peak supply is ±27 000MW
  • Peak demand occurs from 17:00 to 19:00 in summer and from 18:00 to 20:00 in winter
  • 80% of SA’s installed capacity is from ageing coal power stations

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Also, SA’s five oldest power stations – Hendrina, Camden, Arnot, Grootvlei and Kriel – with a combined capacity of 7,885MW, will be coming offline over the next five years as they near their 55-year end of life. The average age of SA’s coal power stations is 41.

Solar’s relationship with Eskom

South Africa has an abundance of solar resources, but it still only contributes 1.25% towards the national grid.

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The country has seen a surge in popularity of solar systems given the increased frequency and intensity of load shedding. According to the property brief, solar installation at home provides uninterrupted power, lowers energy costs, improves quality of life, boosts the marketability and resale value of a property and reduces the carbon footprint.

The government also announced solar tax breaks in the 2023 National Budget that are valid for a year from 1 March 2023.

ALSO READ: Load shedding: Renewable energy platform launched for SA businesses

Households can claim back 25% of the value of new solar panels, up to a maximum of R15,000 while businesses can deduct 125% of the cost of a solar project from their tax bill.

The value of solar panel imports into SA reached an all-time high of R3.6 billion in Q1 2023 and this investment (as well as related employment) is expected to continue growing in 2024.

Fun fact

ALSO READ: Gqeberha residents will soon be spared from load shedding

Did you know that the efficiency of solar panels decreases slightly at hotter temperatures? On a 26ºC day with clear skies, solar panels will perform slightly better than on a 36ºC day.

Thus, inland homes in areas like Gauteng generally have a higher Solar Score than their coastal counterparts in areas like the Western Cape.