South Africa’s energy regulator seeks public comment to allow up to 16 hours of blackouts daily

  • The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has published a consultation document detailing a revised load-shedding approach that allows for up to stage 16 power cuts.

South Africa’s energy regulator, NERSA, has invited or comments on NRS 048-9 Electricity Supply – Quality of Supply: Code of Practice – Load reduction practices, system restoration practices, and critical load and essential load requirements under system emergencies.

Once finalised the document will replaced the current edition which does not address the current energy crisis context in South Africa. Households and business are face with 10 hours of blackouts daily and sometimes more under stage 6 load-shedding.

The new document will allow for higher stages of load-shedding up stage 16 (currently max is stage 8). Each stage represents 1000MW of loadshedding starting at stage one.

The new document also proposes the System Operator (Eskom) to demand that power distributors drop their demand by between 5% and 80%, depending on the declared load-shedding stage.

In a worst-case scenario, stage 16 load-shedding will see around 18400 MW ‘shed’ from the grid.

Under this extreme scenario Eskom will be able to reduce load by nearly 50% to avoid a total blackout but is also means no power for the citizens of South Africa for up to 16 hours a day.

Link to the public notice HERE

The deadline for public submissions is 22 September 2023.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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