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Saturday, June 15, 2024

South Africa’s Power Balancing Act: Loadshedding Relief or Winter Woes?

There’s a flicker of hope (and light!) for South Africans weary of power cuts. As of today, June 9th, 2024, the country enjoys its 70th day free of loadshedding – the longest stretch since early 2022. This positive news is attributed to Eskom’s Generation Operational Recovery Plan, which has improved the reliability of the power grid.

But hold on a minute. Experts warn this sunny spell might be temporary. Colder weather brings a surge in electricity demand, typically around 6,000 MW higher than summer. While demand remains lower than last year, it’s already exceeding Eskom’s forecasts for 2024. This trend is likely to continue as winter deepens.

Eskom CEO, Dan Marokane, acknowledges the progress but admits they can’t confidently rule out loadshedding entirely. The utility’s improved performance hasn’t quite translated to enough increased generation capacity.

So, what’s the takeaway? South Africa seems to be on a tightrope walk when it comes to electricity. Enjoy the current reprieve, but be prepared for potential loadshedding in the coming weeks.

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