Switch Off Geysers, Save Electricity: South Africa’s Strategy to Cut Load-Shedding Stages

South Africa’s Electricity Crisis: A Plan to Cut Load-shedding

Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity, Dr Kgosientso Ramokgopa, is on a mission to resolve the country’s electricity crisis as quickly as possible. His approach includes visiting power stations, addressing underperformance, and urging South Africans to do their part.

Power Station Visits: A Strategy for Engagement

Dr Ramokgopa is in the process of visiting all of Eskom’s power stations, engaging with management, workers, and unions. His itinerary includes:

  • Matimba and Medupi Power Stations on Monday
  • Grootvlei Power Station on Tuesday
  • Hendrina and Arnot Power Stations on Thursday
  • Matla and Komati Power Stations on Friday
  • Majuba Power Station on Saturday

Addressing Underperforming Power Stations

During a visit to Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, Dr Ramokgopa emphasized the need for underperforming coal-fired power stations, particularly Tutuka and Kusile, to significantly improve their power generation.

  • Tutuka’s energy availability factor (EAF) is between 15% and 17%
  • Kusile’s EAF is around 19%, due to the long-term breakdown of three of its units

The Role of South Africans in Energy Conservation

Dr Ramokgopa called on the public to help resolve the electricity crisis by making simple behavioral changes, such as turning off geysers. With these changes:

  • Up to 4,000MW of electricity could be saved (optimistic case)
  • At the low end, 2,000MW of electricity could be saved
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In the optimistic scenario, South Africa could potentially eliminate load-shedding simply by reducing demand.

Key Takeaways

  • Dr Ramokgopa is visiting all of Eskom’s power stations to engage with stakeholders and address underperformance
  • Tutuka and Kusile power stations are underperforming and need to significantly improve their power generation
  • South Africans can help resolve the electricity crisis by making simple behavioral changes, such as turning off geysers, potentially saving up to 4,000MW of electricity

Dr Ramokgopa’s proactive approach, coupled with the efforts of South Africans, can pave the way for a more stable electricity supply, reducing the need for higher stages of load-shedding.