As municipalities prepare for the logistics of stage 8 load shedding, an energy expert warned that South Africans should prepare for the worst – regular stage 6 load-shedding, and 10-hour daily blackouts.
EE Business Intelligence MD Chris Yelland said Eskom’s declining energy availability factor (EAF) is a cause for serious concern.
The energy availability factor shows the percentage of Eskom’s generation capacity which is available, taking into account planned maintenance and unplanned breakdowns.
Yelland said the EAF data for 2019 paints a grim picture of ageing, under-maintained, and stressed power plants.
“The EAF for the full 2019 calendar year has hit a new record low of 67%, compared to the EAF of 72% for the 2018 calendar year,” said Yelland.
He added that the EAF for week 50 and week 51 of 2019 also hit record all-time lows of 59.7% and 58.0% respectively.
Citing an ageing fleet that requires higher levels of maintenance, Eskom has warned that the power system remains vulnerable and volatile, adding that getting back to stability will take some time.