In a twist that had many South Africans sighing in relief, Eskom pulled the plug on load shedding – but only for a while. Here’s the lowdown:
A Breather from Blackouts: Eskom announced a temporary halt to load shedding on Monday, attributing it to an “improved generation system and a full recovery in emergency generation reserves.” From 11:30 to 16:00, South Africans can enjoy uninterrupted power. But before you plan your evening around your favorite TV series, brace yourself: evening blackouts might just be on the horizon.
Upcoming Updates: Keen to know how the rest of your week might look power-wise? Eskom promises a detailed update later this Monday afternoon, so keep an eye out.
Recent Power Play: It’s been a game of dimmed lights and unscheduled candlelit dinners as Eskom has juggled between stage 1 load shedding during the day and the more intense stage 3 in the evenings. This recent pattern is, in fact, a step up from the stage 6 rollercoaster we experienced mid-July.
Rethinking Load Shedding: Here’s where it gets technical: Nersa, the National Energy Regulator, has been brainstorming new ways to structure load shedding. Their focus? Transitioning from measuring in thousands of MWs to evaluating the “percentage of demand shed.” With this, stage 16 load shedding (a whopping 80% of demand) becomes a possibility. But Vally Padayachee, the Chair of the National Rationalised Specifications Association of South Africa, assures, “South Africa will likely never get to that level of power cuts.”
Future Forecast: End of the year optimism is in the air with expected unit activations at Kusile and unit 1 of Koeber by early November. But don’t get too hopeful; the nuclear plant’s unit 2 is slated for maintenance soon after.