'Eskom running gas turbines at load factor that's too high, on costly diesel'
As Eskom implemented Stage 2 load shedding again on Wednesday afternoon, it presented a "state of the system" update.
We can expect 104 days of power cuts this winter in a worst case scenario, with Stage 3 marking the top limit.
South Africa's endured 32 days of load shedding so far this year.
The power utility says it's "pinning its hopes" on returning units at the Koeberg and Kusile power stations to service to reduce pressure on the constrained system.
Medupi will also play an important role with correction of major design defects on the boiler plant completed.
Once the agreed technical solutions are complete at both stations, Eskom expects both Medupi and Kusile to form the backbone of an evolving and greener power system that will be able to take South Africa into a more sustainable and dynamic energy industry.Eskom media statement
Bruce Whitfield interviews energy analyst Chris Yelland, MD of EE Business Intelligence.
It looks like this year is going to be another record year... If you look at the availability trend year by year... it's getting worse year by year.Chris Yelland, Energy analyst and MD - EE Business Intelligence
... and the trend in the first 17 weeks of this year has not shown that [usual] increasing energy availability as we're heading towards winter. In fact it's heading horizontally and slightly downwards... and there's nothing that indicates it's going to change.Chris Yelland, Energy analyst and MD - EE Business Intelligence
Yelland notes this is contrary to the predictions contained in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity and the Eskom Roadmap which showed availability rising dramatically, up to 75%.
A plant gets older every year. You can expect its availability to get worse every year, especially if you're not replacing this old plant that's reached its end of life with new plants with good availability!Chris Yelland, Energy analyst and MD - EE Business Intelligence
The trouble is we're replacing this old plant with poor availability, with new plants that also have poor availability - the Medupis and Kusiles and their design problems.Chris Yelland, Energy analyst and MD - EE Business Intelligence
Yelland says it also emerged today that Eskom is operating its open cycle gas turbines (run on diesel) at a much higher load factor than they were ever intended to operate.
It's a load factor of 15/16%. That really eats through diesel... and the price of imported diesel is going through the roof on international markets... It's going to be a very expensive year if we keep this up.Chris Yelland, Energy analyst and MD - EE Business Intelligence
We've had load shedding for the last 15 years and people are feeling helpless, but there is no reason why we should feel helpless. There are solutions.Chris Yelland, Energy analyst and MD - EE Business Intelligence
We can end load shedding in two years with the right approach, but it needs a coordinated national priority plan, like a Marshall Plan that brings together the people who can do what has to be done... wind and solar... battery storage...Chris Yelland, Energy analyst and MD - EE Business Intelligence
Listen to Yelland's detailed Eskom look-back and his vision for a brighter future:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'Eskom running gas turbines at load factor that's too high, on costly diesel'
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