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Coal plants supply more than 80% of South Africa’s power. Image: Pixabay

Why Eskom’s load-shedding good times COULDN’T last

Between 20-28 October 2023, they kept the lights on, but here’s why Eskom’s load-shedding good times could never last.

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Coal plants supply more than 80% of South Africa’s power. Image: Pixabay

It was fun while it lasted, right, but Eskom’s load-shedding good times couldn’t last forever. Or even longer than nine days! Business Tech is reporting, with the help of independent energy analyst, Pieter Jordaan, just how far Eskom was pushed to gift us those nine days of uninterrupted power.

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Before we go into the why, let’s first look at how diabolical Eskom’s nine days of load-shedding good times actually are. The nine days of power is the longest streak of no load-shedding in a full year. Just 200 hours with no outages. How sad is that?


Eskom load-shedding good times
Photo: Eskom/X.

Unfortunately, the load-shedding good times couldn’t last. The Boks are back and we’re back to Stage 2 and 3 load-shedding till further notice. To keep the lights on for nine consecutive days, Eskom up its usage of open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs). Colder weather in the country at the start of the week saw demand spike and the end of load-shedding good times.

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According to Jordaan, during the nine-day period, the country’s demand dropped to the lowest point all year. Another trick employed to keep the load-shedding good times rolling was the burning of diesel with open coal gas turbine generators (OCGT)

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NERSA, SA’s energy regulator made a concession to allow for a higher OCGT utilisation rate of 6%. By mid-September Eskom’s utilisation rate stood at a whopping 20%. According to Business Tech, for the current financial year to date, Eskom has produced 2 181 gigawatt hours of energy from OCGT at an estimated cost of R14.5 billion.

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Did you think the load-shedding good times were going to last forever? Be sure to share your thoughts with our audience in the comments section below. And don’t forget to follow us @TheSANews on X and The South African on Facebook for the latest updates.