The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has revealed that 2022 has been the most intensive year to date of load shedding imposed by Eskom, with most of the deliberate power cuts recorded in July and September.
CSIR released its annual statistics on power generation in South Africa for the first half of 2022 (1 January 2022 to 30 June 2022) on Monday.
Load shedding and energy availability factor (EAF) data for 2022 were also provided up until 30 September 2022.
CSIR said the statistics included coal, nuclear, hydro, solar and diesel-fueled open cycle gas turbines amongst other others.
Load shedding worsened
Load shedding has worsened from year to year, the organisation said.
“This year is the most intensive loadshedding year to date, concentrated in July and September. The three months of July to September 2022 had more loadshedding than the July to September of any year before.
“September 2022, the highest load shedding month ever, on its own, had more loadshedding than the entire 2020. This year’s Stage 6 load shedding has far surpassed 2019’s, the only other year that had Stage 6,” it said.
in the first half of 2022, the total system demand was similar to the year before, but still 3.0 TWh (2.5%) below the pre-lockdown levels of 2019, CSIR said.
“Coal still dominates the South African energy mix, providing more than 80% of the total system load. The contribution of renewable energy technologies (wind, solar PV and CSP) increased in 2022 to a total of 6.2 GW installed capacity and provided 6.5% of the total energy mix.”
CSIR said the Eskom fleet EAF continued its declining trend in 2022, with an average EAF of 59.4%, compared to the EAF of 61.7% for 2021 and 65% for 2020.
“This is largely due to the increase of unplanned outages (detailed by the unplanned capacity loss factor) experienced by Eskom. This year overtook 2021 as the most loadshedding-intensive year yet, concentrated in July and September,” CSIR said.
Last week the ailing parastatal announced that stage 2 load shedding would be implemented until further notice.
“This is necessitated by a breakdown of a Duvha generating unit and a delay in returning to service another Duvha unit. Eskom will provide a further update as soon as any significant changes occur,” the parastatal said.