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'Eskom CEO pleaded with Govt on record to allow people to feed power into grid'

11 February 2021 9:12 AM
Tags:
UCT
Eskom
State Capture
Cyril Ramaphosa
University of Cape Town
Loadshedding
Electricity
Load shedding
SONA
Renewable energy
Independent Power Producers
State of the Nation Address
Electricity supply
Wind
Coal
Refilwe Moloto
IPPs
load-shedding
solar
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
Andre de Ruyter
2021 State of the Nation Address (Sona)
PV
2021 Sona
Hilton Trollip
Energy Research Centre

"The clear plan is to replace ailing power stations with lots of wind, PV and gas. Nothing is being done!" laments Hilton Trollip.

RELATED: Koeberg Nuclear Power station radioactivity containment building is cracking


The timing could not be worse.

As President Cyril Ramaphosa is preparing to deliver the State of the Nation Address, Eskom slams the economy with another round of load-shedding.

The painful truth is there will be no economic recovery – no matter what plans the President outlines tonight – if our power supplier cannot supply power reliably.

Refilwe Moloto spoke to Hilton Trollip (Senior Researcher at the Energy Research Centre at UCT) about the latest round of load-shedding.

Loadshedding? What, me worry? © kzenon/123rf.com

Trollip can trace the steady demise of Eskom over more than a decade.

The incessant technical breakdowns at Eskom has a genesis in decisions made more than 10 years ago to put politically connected people in place at the state-owned utility - to enrich those hellbent on state capture.

Much of this was outlined in an Eskom report given to parliament years ago, outlining the problems and what needs to be done

Despite this, serious challenges to the implementation of systemic fixes remain.

Eskom was getting some success with maintenance… They got the ‘energy availability factor’ up to 65% by October last year. But it’s been steadily going down – not suddenly… Now, it’s sitting at 58%. That means 58% of Eskom’s fleet is available…

Hilton Trollip, Senior Researcher - Energy Research Centre (University of Cape Town)

Unplanned outages have gone up from 16% in October [2020] … It’s now gone over 27%... So, 27% of the generation fleet is sitting idle – it’s broken…

Hilton Trollip, Senior Researcher - Energy Research Centre (University of Cape Town)

Most of these stations are at the end of their lives and they must be replaced… The plan to replace them – it’s a clear plan - says build lots of wind, PV, and gas. Nothing is being done! It’s a slow-motion train crash!

Hilton Trollip, Senior Researcher - Energy Research Centre (University of Cape Town)

Eskom’s CEO is on record, asking the government to allow people who are begging to put power into the grid, to allow them to do it…

Hilton Trollip, Senior Researcher - Energy Research Centre (University of Cape Town)

There’s an emergency programme [to procure 2000 MW]; they’re still waiting to evaluate the bids – almost two years after deciding to do it. The main IRP, they say that 'maybe soon' they’ll announce a fifth-round… but it’s taken years. That’s why there’s this major shortage.

Hilton Trollip, Senior Researcher - Energy Research Centre (University of Cape Town)

They [independent power producers] are very ready! Many of them! There are 5000 MW out there that could be on the grid, some of it immediately… but it’s stuck at Nersa and the Department of Mineral Resources …

Hilton Trollip, Senior Researcher - Energy Research Centre (University of Cape Town)

Running coal-fired power stations – just the operational costs, not the capital costs, just the coal – is much more expensive than wind and PV. Those things just need to be shut down.

Hilton Trollip, Senior Researcher - Energy Research Centre (University of Cape Town)

Listen to the interview in the audio below.




11 February 2021 9:12 AM
Tags:
UCT
Eskom
State Capture
Cyril Ramaphosa
University of Cape Town
Loadshedding
Electricity
Load shedding
SONA
Renewable energy
Independent Power Producers
State of the Nation Address
Electricity supply
Wind
Coal
Refilwe Moloto
IPPs
load-shedding
solar
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
Andre de Ruyter
2021 State of the Nation Address (Sona)
PV
2021 Sona
Hilton Trollip
Energy Research Centre

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