Cold Fronts and Explosions – SA’s Electricity Supply under Strain

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Snow is expected to fall over parts of the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Free State, which may lead to electricity disruptions.

The first cold front made landfall in the Western Cape yesterday, with another expected today.

Eskom says that the severe weather conditions could affect electricity restoration time.

It has urged affected customers to be patient and to treat all electricity appliances as live during this period.

South Africa’s power system is already constrained after an explosion caused extensive generator damage at Medupi power station’s Unit 4.

Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter says that this means a loss of approximately 700 MW, with the repairs taking up to two years.

Meanwhile…

Private electricity generators may still struggle to come online as funders have been slow to get on board to facilitate the increased capacity.

Energy expert, Tshepo Kgadima was responding as the Mineral Resources and Energy minister Gwede Mantashe has gazetted the amendments to the Electricity Regulation Act.

The law essentially cuts the red tape for these independent power producers, allowing them to begin generating without obtaining a licence.

However, this is only if they stick within the 100MW limit.

But Kgadima says that consumers should expect higher electricity tariffs from Eskom.

This will in turn discourage investment in the country’s productive sectors.

[Header image: Eskom]


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