Cabinet Applauds Eskom’s Increased Energy Availability Factor

Thursday, July 6, 2023

South Africa’s Cabinet has expressed satisfaction with the considerable improvement in Eskom’s energy availability factor, which has risen to nearly 70%.

Grid Enhancement and Improved Maintenance

This positive shift comes as approximately 400 megawatts (MW) of power have been incorporated into the grid, coupled with a rapid advancement in planned maintenance procedures.

Postponement for Emission Standards Compliance

In Thursday’s Cabinet announcement, attention was drawn to the decision of the National Air Quality Officer from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment to grant Eskom a delay in meeting minimum emission standards at the Kusile Power Station, located in Mpumalanga.

The Cabinet outlined, “The postponement will allow Eskom to carry out repairs on the stack that was damaged on 23 October 2022. The power utility will also construct three temporary stacks that are expected to return 2,100 MW of power to the national grid and reduce load-shedding by two levels.”

Commitment to the Just Energy Transition

The Executive reiterated the government’s commitment to the Just Energy Transition (JET), emphasizing its determination to combat the effects of climate change. Established in 2020, the JET aims for “net zero” carbon emissions by 2050.

A note of gratitude was extended to South Africans for their responsible electricity consumption, particularly during peak hours. “Our combined energy efforts have helped bring about lower stages of load shedding,” the Cabinet acknowledged.

Global Commitments and Green Hydrogen

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The Cabinet also expressed approval for the pledges made at the New Global Financing Pact Summit, which took place last month in Paris, France, and was attended by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The summit sought to build a fresh contract between the North and South to address climate change, development, and debt issues.

The Cabinet further commended the joint declaration of intent to establish the South African-German Hydrogen Task Force, signed by Electricity Minister, Dr. Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, and German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck.

The task force is set to investigate the creation and development of the green hydrogen market, while fostering business-to-business opportunities between the two nations. Green hydrogen, produced by renewable energy, results in significantly fewer carbon emissions than traditional hydrogen.

Plans are already in motion for a Hydrogen Valley stretching from Limpopo through Johannesburg to Durban.

The Cabinet outlined, “The valley will establish opportunities for projects that will kick-start hydrogen initiatives in hubs to boost economic growth and job creation.” – SAnews.gov.za

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