Ending the current restrictions to the addition of new generation capacity and addressing Eskom’s deteriorating generation performance are key to arresting intensifying load-shedding, the Energy Intensive Users Group (EUIG) asserts.
CEO Fanele Mondi said in a statement the recent illegal industrial action had escalated the crisis but stressed that the “core underlying issues” remained Eskom’s poor generation performance and the prevailing restrictions on the addition of new generation capacity.
“The EIUG believes strongly that our focus should be on fundamental issues, such as creating time for Eskom to undertake maintenance, streamlining Eskom’s procurement processes, dedicating funds for maintenance, executing effective maintenance practices, enhancing demand-side management, adding additional capacity through public and private generation projects, and further structural reforms,” Mondi said in a statement released as Eskom was implementing Stage 4 to Stage 6 load-shedding.
“To end load-shedding, generation performance needs to be improved while concurrently adding generation capacity to the grid as soon as possible,” Mondi said.
Eskom has indicated that up to 6 000 MW of new generation capacity is required to create the space it requires to maintain its aging and neglected coal fleet.
The utility has initiated roundtable discussions with energy experts to discuss ways to end load-shedding, as well as to create an electricity supply industry that is able to provide stable and affordable electricity, while dramatically reducing emissions.
CEO André de Ruyter reported on July 1 that supply- and demand-side options for ending load-shedding were discussed during the first roundtable, which met on June 24.
He said that these options were currently under consideration, but that some would require “policy interventions”.
“We have been engaging with our shareholder and we will leave that to the policy side to decide on, but we have certainly provided our input into opportunities for us to bring a rapid conclusion to load-shedding through interventions on both the supply and the demand side.”
The utility has also identified a second parcel of grid-ready land in Mpumalanga that it intends to offer, in the form of long-term lease agreements, to those private entities willing to invest in new distributed generation to take advantage of a dispensation allowing plants below 100 MW to proceed without a licence.
“We intend to approach the market by August,” De Ruyter confirmed.
Earlier, Eskom announced that 18 companies had been selected following its first land-release bidding process.
The projects could add a total of 1 800 MW of generation capacity once connected and cover about 4 000 ha out of the total 36 000 ha available under the programme.