Electricity demand to increase

2011-01-06 12:52

The demand for electricity was set to increase by about two percent in 2011 as the country’s economy recovered, Eskom chief executive Brian Dames said today.

“Therefore, we are targeting every day a two percent improvement in output for the next two years,” he told media in Johannesburg.

Eskom would take a different route to balance the gap between increasing electricity demand and its supply.

“We have started work and we are monitoring the system. We will start doing things differently.”

He said the power utility has asked its large industrial customers, including mines, to reduce their energy use by 10%.

Eskom would also ensure that its power stations improved their outputs by buying better quality coal from its suppliers.

The power utility had enough capacity to light up the country for the summer of 2011, he said.

He said, however, capacity had been under pressure in December when two units at Koeberg were out of service.

“The loss of half of Koeberg’s generating capacity reduced our flexibility to do maintenance at our coal-fired power stations, and some maintenance has had to be postponed.

“This in turn increases the risk of unplanned outages at these stations.”

Heavy rains which drenched the country also added more pressure to Eskom’s generating capacity as it affected coal handling and supply.

“Eskom has resolved not to return to the disruptive load shedding, and it recognises it cannot achieve this on its own.”

Dames called on households throughout the country to take heed of warnings that aired on national television stations.

“If you are not using it, switch it off.”

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