Mix of Stage 2 and 4 loadshedding planned for this week

  • After a confusing dance with loadshedding at the weekend, South Africans can expect a mix of Stage 2 and Stage 4 loadshedding this week.
  • However, generation capacity at Eskom hasn’t improved much and a surge in demand could potentially push the nation to higher levels of power cuts.
  • Data from Eskom reveals that diesel-powered open-cycle gas turbines weren’t used on Thursday or Friday.

Generation capacity at Eskom improved at the weekend leading to a bit of confusion on Saturday evening. The power utility eventually suspended loadshedding on Saturday evening before reinstating power cuts on Sunday afternoon.

Since 16:00 on Sunday Stage 2 loadshedding has been in effect and – as per Eskom’s best laid plans – will remain in effect until 16:00 this afternoon. Thereafter, Stage 4 loadshedding will be implemented until 05:00 on Tuesday where after Stage 2 will once again be in effect.

“This pattern will be repeated daily until further notice. Eskom will publish another update should any significant changes occur,” the utility said on Sunday.

Unfortunately, we’re not expecting this schedule to stay in effect given that availability tends to shift quickly. On Thursday last week Eskom was generating 26 726MW which dropped to 26 534MW on Friday. However, demand dropped on Friday, allowing Eskom to reduce the severity of loadshedding.

Concerningly, Eskom’s energy mix data shows that the utility didn’t use its open cycle gas turbines for at least two days last week. It’s unclear whether Eskom used these diesel-powered generators at the weekend as the utility hasn’t released any data to that effect. This has fueled rumours that Eskom has exhausted its diesel supplies but at this stage, this is just hearsay.

Last week saw the mercury drop as parts of the country experienced a cold-front. This lead to higher than anticipated demand which resulted in Stage 6 loadshedding. This week should prove to be warmer but whether that will help Eskom address its inability to meet demand remains to be seen.

Should the outlook for loadshedding change we will be sure to update you.

[Image – Boyan Chen from Pixabay]


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