Coal power failing the people of South Africa – 23230MW out of service

  • Eskom reports that in spite of the return to service of 3 200MW of generation capacity in the last 48 hours, the need to continue to do planned maintenance and the setback of losing four generating units, necessitates the implementation of Stage 3 loadshedding (blackouts) from 16:00 today until 05:00 on Thursday.
  • Thereafter, Stage 2 loadshedding will be implemented from 05:00 until 16:00.
  • This pattern of implementing Stage 2 loadshedding from 05:00 until 16:00 and Stage 3 from 16:00 until 05:00 will be repeated until Saturday morning.
  • Eskom will provide a further update on Friday afternoon.

Unplanned outages are currently at 14 894MW of generating capacity, while the capacity out of service for planned maintenance is 8 336MW.

Eskom assures that the Power Station General Managers and their teams will continue to work diligently to return the units out of service, including the 606MW of generating capacity planned to be returned to service this evening.

Energy utility in decline

Respected energy analyst, Chris Yelland reports that Eskom’s energy availability factor (EAF) for the full 2023 calendar was 54.71%, compared to 58.11% for the full 2022 calendar year. Eskom relies on a fleet of 15 coal fired power plants to generate just over 38000MW of power but the majority of them are past their ‘sell by’ date.

Related news: Eskom is in a death spiral

A report led by a German consortium commissioned by the country’s finance minster on the ongoing viability of the fleet has not been made public. Read more 

The South African tax payer is expected by government to fork up R256 billion in a bail out package. Eskom has been plagued by mismanagement, unqualified cadre deployement by the ruling party, theft, corruption, fraud, sabotage plus muniscipal debt spiralling out of control.

Eskom week-on-week energy availability factor EAF for 2023. Data source: Eskom. Image credit: Chris Yelland. Chris is an energy analyst, consultant, electrical engineer, public speaker, writer and MD at EE Business Intelligence (Pty) Ltd. Follow Chris on X – @chrisyelland

Related news: SMA’s super versatile Sunny Island battery/inverter beats the loadshedding challenges in South Africa 

The people of South Africa can expect loadshedding (blackouts) every day throughout 2024 according to Eskom’s own system operator outlook report.

Eskom System Operator outlook for loadshedding in South Africa for the next year. Image credit: Chris Yelland – X

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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