Eskom Forecasts Manageable Stage 2 Load Shedding for Winter 2024

Johannesburg, April 26, 2024 – Eskom executives forecast a cautiously optimistic outlook for the upcoming winter, anticipating load shedding to be contained primarily within Stage 2. This announcement came during the State of the System and Winter Outlook briefing at Megawatt Park today, shedding light on the energy strategies for the colder months ahead.

Strategic Energy Forecasting Dan Marokane, Eskom’s Group Chief Executive, shared insights into the expected energy demands and operational plans designed to mitigate extensive power cuts. According to Marokane, the Unplanned Capacity Loss Factor (UCLF), a critical measure of generating unit reliability, is projected to reach 14,000MW this winter—a notable improvement from last year’s 15,000MW.

Maintaining Moderate Load Shedding “The backbone of our strategy hinges on a reduction in backline unreliability by 1,000MW from last year’s figures,” Marokane explained. He stressed that while the reduction might seem modest, it is significant in stabilizing the power grid and managing load shedding severity. “Our current models suggest that, barring unforeseen spikes in unreliability, load shedding should not exceed Stage 2, though a temporary shift to Stage 5 could occur under extreme conditions,” he added.

Operational Improvements and Challenges Marokane highlighted the decrease in unplanned outages, which have fallen by 9% since the previous winter, largely due to focused improvements at critical stations. The return of four Kusile Power Station units earlier than anticipated has also bolstered capacity, contributing to the current average losses of about 14.2GW. “Our target for this fiscal year is to keep these below 14GW,” he stated, emphasizing ongoing efforts to address key areas of unreliability.

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Collaborative Efforts to Mitigate Power Losses Looking ahead, Eskom is set to intensify its efforts to reduce unplanned outages further by an additional 1.7GW, through a combination of partial load loss reductions and demand-side management initiatives. “This winter, we’re not just focusing on operational tactics but also on involving the public with an energy-saving campaign launching in May,” Marokane remarked.

He called on all South Africans to contribute by using electricity sparingly, underscoring that the success of these measures relies heavily on collective action. “Our ability to minimize load shedding depends on everyone playing their part efficiently,” he urged.

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