South Africans are bracing themselves for more loadshedding in 2022. Just how bad are things right now and what can we expect in the year ahead? Sadly, the situation is not looking very positive.
Forecasts done in October and November 2021 predict that things are likely to get worse in the coming months. A BUSINESSTECH article revealed that Eskom’s summer loadshedding forecast for 2021/2022 showed warnings that its system is likely to remain severely constrained for the near future. A Business Live article warns that Koeberg units shutting down for 10 months in the year to come.
What does this mean for South Africans, and what can be done to mitigate the risks posed by loadshedding in 2022?
Dealing with Loadshedding in 2022
Over the last year, constant power outages have caused major disruptions to businesses across every sector. The effect on the economy has been massive. Struggling infrastructure and many other challenges have reached a breaking point.
According to the BUSINESSTECH article, Eskom Group Executive for Transmission, Segomoco Scheppers, said loadshedding in 2022 issues are “a result of known issues such as high demand and planned maintenance”, also mentioning problems with the Medupi power plant, which resulted in over 1,800MW of power going offline.
“The result of the analysis looking at the period ahead to August of 2022 shows that for the Summer period, we believe that in the base case, we could have one day of load shedding at stage 1. But that will be contingent on potentially spending R2.5 billion in Open Cycle Gas Turbines,” Scheppers said.
Speaking to City Press, energy analyst Chris Yelland noted that this could be especially tough in January as major planned maintenance at Cape Town’s Koeberg power station will continue.
“What worries me is that one of Koeberg’s units will have to be taken offline for five months in January. When that unit is returned to service, it will be the turn of the other one. This means that generating capacity of about 900MW won’t be available for most of next year,” said Yelland.
Ultimately, this highlights the major need to look at sustainable options moving forward. Solutions designed to manage power wherever possible are essential. This includes utility management, remote metre reading and other strategies that will help save on power costs wherever possible.