Several cities publish schedules, but Eskom says there is no immediate load-shedding plan

Terence Creamer | 3rd June 2013 | Engineering News

State-owned electricity utility Eskom says it is aware of the fact that several large cities have developed load-shedding schedules for 2013, following the recent release of a new schedule by the Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality, in Gauteng.

However, spokesperson Hilary Joffe insists that there are no plans currently to implement load shedding.

Besides Ekurhuleni, eThekwini and the City of Cape Town have published schedules on their websites, while many other cities are believed to have developed internal load-shedding programmes.

Johannesburg’s City Power said it was in talks with Eskom on the issue, but had not published any timetables. “We will only do load shedding if and when our discussion with the power utility concludes that we should do load shedding,” spokesperson Sol Masolo told Engineering News Online.

Ekurhuleni published its schedules on its website on May 31, advising consumers to print them out so that they were aware of the possible impact should load shedding become a necessity. The city stressed that the schedules have been designed to ensure that the impact is spread equitably over the customer base.

Joffe tells Engineering News Online that the schedules have not been developed at the request of Eskom.

However, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa made it a licence condition in 2010 for all those distribution licensees intending to conduct load shedding to develop schedules as a preparedness measure.

Schedules only need to be published and communicated in the event of load shedding and there is no requirement to publish the schedules unless implementation was envisaged.

Eskom has communicated previously that it will be conducting long-duration planned maintenance during the winter of 2013 and has continually warned of a “tight” supply/demand balance.

The utility is forecasting a 2013 winter peak of 36 800 MW. On Thursday May 30, it reported that the capacity available to meet the evening peak was 34 319 MW, while demand was forecast at 33 758 MW.



Cold weather sees peak demand in SA up by 2,000 MW

Antonio Ruffini | 13 May 2013 | ESI Africa

Eskom’s figures from its regular system updates show daily electricity demand in South Africa already reaching a peak of close to 34,000 MW during early May 2013 as wide parts of the country experienced a cold autumn, or early onset of winter.

Power demand on the 7th of May 2013 peaked at 33,980 MW, this compared to below 32,000 MW during the summer months in South Africa. The country’s peak demand trend occurs during the 17:00 to 21:00 period as the residential sector increases use of lighting, cooking, hot water and space heating upon people returning home from work.

The country has been suffering from electricity constraints, exacerbated by delays in the completion of the new 4,800 MW six unit Medupi power station, which may only see stable base load power supply from its first unit in about May 2014. With Eskom having to undertake maintenance on its power stations during winter, a practice not followed in prior years, the system will be extremely tight. Eskom is already running expensive diesel fired open cycle gas turbine peaking plant extensively, this acting as emergency base load capacity.


Electricity not used for heating – SAIRR

Engineering News 5 March 2013.

Even though most homes in South Africa have electricity, over 50% of households do not use it for heating, the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said on Tuesday.

“Of the 14.8-million households in South Africa, some 12.4-million (84%) use electricity for lighting, 10.7-million (73%) use it for cooking, and 6.5-million (44%) use it for heating their homes,” the SAIRR said…


Electricity use drops ‘due to price increase’

Business Day Live 27 February 2013.

SOUTH African consumers used less electricity last year when compared to the prior year as the price of power more than doubled in three years.

The volume of electricity consumption decreased by 2,6% in the 12 months to December, Statistics SA said in its electricity report last month…


SA companies join power saving drive

Business Report 3 December 2012.

Seventy companies have pledged to reduce their energy consumption, Eskom chief executive Brian Dames said in Johannesburg on Monday.

He said it was important companies reduced their electricity consumption because its production relied heavily on coal.

“If we can save energy, it has a direct impact on saving coal emissions,” Dames said…

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Eskom lowers full-year sales forecast as flows to industry taper

Engineering News 20 November 2012.

State-owned electricity utility Eskom reported sales of only 110 766 GWh in the six months to September 30, 2012, a decline of 2.9% when compared with the 114 043 GWh recorded during the same period in 2011.

The utility also lowered its full-year sales forecast to 219 342 GWh from 222 083 GWh, owing to the prevailing low-growth environment in South Africa. In the year to March 31, 2012, Eskom sold 224 785 GWh, which itself was only 0.2% higher than that recorded in the previous year…

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