100 days of no load shedding presents a moment for reflection

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Minister of Electricity and Energy, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, says while it is commendable that the 100 day milestone of no load shedding has been achieved in the country; it is also a chance to reflect on the hard work that has gone into addressing the problem.

The Minister was speaking during a media briefing in Tshwane on Monday.

Government has, through the Energy Action Plan announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in July 2022, together with Eskom, honed in on the issue of load shedding since it reached crisis levels that same year.

“We were able to register that milestone…of 100 consecutive days without load shedding. It’s not a moment of celebration. But it’s [a moment] for us to take stock of where we came from and the fact that interventions are working and they are beginning to illustrate that indeed it can be done.

“It’s done…principally by Eskom engineers with little assistance from outside. Yes, there’s that framework from NECOM [National Energy Crisis Committee] getting assistance from outside but fundamentally, it’s driven by Eskom employees,” he said.

Ramokgopa explained that Eskom has managed to reduce unplanned outages at power stations’ generating units significantly as compared to the same period last year – helping to keep the lights on.

“If you look at June last year, we were sitting at 17 000MW of the megawatts that we had lost as a result of the unreliability of these units. Today… that unplanned capacity loss factor is sitting at 12 000MW. So we were able to recoup 5000MW.

“That doesn’t tell the complete story because if you look at the comparative period…you’ll find that our planned capacity loss factor, the number of units that we have taken out to fix them, is still about 1000MW greater than what was the case before. So if you factor that in that number, we have recouped about 6000MW,” he said.

He once again batted away suggestions that the performance of Eskom is boosted by the burning of diesel at the Open Cycle Gas Turbines (OCGTs).

According to the Minister, as compared to the same period last year, Eskom has considerably reduced its use of the diesel guzzling turbines.

“We are not burning diesel to levels that are unacceptable for us to be able to maintain this kind of performance. If you were to look at the amount of diesel that we spent [during] the same period last year compared to now, we have saved R6.2 billion.

“From the 1st of April 2024 to the 30th of June 2024, compared the 1st of April 2023 to the 30th of June 2023, the difference is that this year, we have burnt R6 billion less of diesel. There’s nothing about diesel that is anchoring the kind of performance we are seeing now.

“It all has to do with the performance of these coal fired power stations and the work that the team has done to ensure that we are able to address this situation,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za

 



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