WATT THE F#*K?
Stage 7 till the ‘not too distant future’? Three things you need to know
It's been Stage 6 all the way since Tuesday – now we’re heading to Stage 7. Here are three things you need to know this week.
1. We’re heading to Stage 7
This Eskom report from 12 September shows that load shedding exceeded 6,362MW, which suggests we are heading to Stage 7 power cuts.
Eskom’s spin doctors are likely to deny this because the load that is shed is a mix of rotational power cuts and ‘load containment’, where big users are instructed to cut for longer periods. But we can feel the intensity. Tori O’Regan explains what that could mean.
Stage 7 means that up to 7,000MW needs to be cut from the grid. Consumers can expect to be shed up to 12 times over four days: three times for two hours and nine times for four hours.
The national energy availability factor (EAF) is now at 52% for the year – far below the 75% Eskom pencilled in for the final quarter of 2023. Cabinet issued the lamest statement I’ve yet seen on the latest painful power cuts. “Cabinet was assured that the current implementation of increased stages of load shedding is a short-term phase as Eskom prepares for sustained and lessened stages of load shedding in the not-so-distant future.” Spoken by people with generators we pay for and who do not feel the pain of power cuts.
Read the full statement by the Ministry in the Presidency.
2. Discovery launches green energy trader
Discovery has launched a green energy trading company to help businesses buckling under power cuts. It is designed to create a new energy trading market to help companies bring down their carbon footprints while ensuring steady supply.
Most recent major results show that intense power cuts are costing billions and being passed on to consumers. Reader Dave Martin says that from early releases, Discovery is claiming it can supply 100% clean energy for the same price as Eskom does. This would be huge. Dave asks important questions about battery size and storage capabilities. I will try for an interview with Discovery about its plans.
3. Electricity minister promises a Kusile fix by end of the year
Onke Ngcuka went to Kusile on Monday. If this albatross of a power station around the neck of energy supply can be fixed as promised, it does offer a better outlook. Chris Yelland reminded the Daily Investor that Kusile has cost us R233-billion over 15 years and is contributing zero watts to the grid. And nobody’s gone to jail for it yet.
Neesa Moodley had better news on the investment front. Private equity firms are lining up to support energy investments, mostly in post-fossil fuel companies.
There’s a R1-trillion opportunity for banks in helping people and businesses access the power of the sun, Neesa also reported. South Africa is tallying up the potential power of micro-grids and small-scale embedded generation. DM
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