Expect a tight electricity system, says Eskom

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Cape Town - Eskom has kept the country's lights on for five weeks, following a gruelling period of load shedding during winter.

However the power utility cautioned on Sunday that the power system will be tight in the coming days owing to maintenance work.

It will undertake planned maintenance on the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric scheme together with Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB).

"As a result, South Africa will get 650 MW instead of the 1 500 MW that is normally imported from Cahora Bassa on a daily basis."

The power utility said this maintenance is expected to be completed on Sunday September 20 with the scheme expected to be back on full power the next day.

It pointed out that the power system will be tight, particularly over the weekday evening peak periods from this coming Tuesday to Friday.

"Eskom will utilise its emergency reserves to augment the capacity shortfall as a result of this planned outage."

According to Cala van der Westhuizen, spokesperson for Energy Partners, a national mind-shift towards sustainable energy solutions may have played a significant role in Eskom managing to provide an uninterrupted power supply.

He pointed out that South Africa invested approximately R73bn in sustainable energy solutions in 2014.

The International Energy Agency indicated that sustainable energy formed 18% of the generation capacity mix globally in 2007, 21% in 2012 and 22% in 2013. It is anticipated that an estimated 25% of the world’s energy requirements will be fulfilled through sustainable sources by 2018.

Van der Westhuizen said some experts believe that the rapid growth pattern in renewable technologies in SA, will result in 100% sustainable energy generation by 2025 although he said a more realistic expectation is approximately 30%.

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