Ramukjoba on power outage: Blames 'perfect storm'

Ramukjoba on power outage: Blames ‘perfect storm’

Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said on Monday that “important lessons” had been learned from last week’s cold snap that caused the national grid to swing as demand surged and generation capacity slumped.

The grid had cycled all year, but regular power outages had decreased in the weeks before an icy cold front caused the grid to falter. This was largely because Eskom was doing less maintenance, and because of lower power demand in June, Ferial Hafagy mentioned.

At a media conference on Monday, Ramukjoba said South Africa had seen “a great deal of delay” in the 21 days to Thursday 6 July.

“We have been able to maintain a relatively healthy unit performance, but of course, we have seen a significant reduction in available capacity starting Thursday, [6 July]. “

A woman walks past a mural of a child holding a lamp, by artist Mr. X, in Orlando West, Soweto. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

Eskom moved the country into stage four and six blackouts last week amid a severe cold snap that brought icy conditions across the country. the Benefit said The increase in load shedding resulted from the overnight loss of additional generating units, the heavy use of open-cycle gas turbines and the inability to replenish pumped storage dam levels, along with power demand that exceeded expectations.

An apologetic Ramukjoba said three lessons were learned from the experience.

The first is that “the network remains vulnerable and vulnerable to low megawatt availability.” This was despite a Network “stability” mentioned by Ramokgopa earlier this month.

The second lesson was that inclement weather caused South Africans who had invested in solar power, batteries and inverters to pull power from the national grid.

“When you have inclement weather, when you have a situation like we had on Tuesday and Wednesday where parts of Gauteng got snow, you are deprived of sunshine and you get no privilege of solar PV support.”

“What it means is that those who took the initiative themselves to ensure the installation of solar panels, batteries and inverters also had to draw from the grid. In addition, they also had to draw from the grid to recharge their batteries. What this means is higher levels of demand,” he said. Ramukgopa.

The third lesson was “when there’s a meeting point of low generation capacity and high demand, we’re in big trouble.”

“This is what I refer to as a perfect storm. We hit that perfect storm—available capacity decreased and demand increased… The result of the perfect storm is an intensification of load shedding,” he said.

The minister said that the increased load distribution is due to some units not recovering as expected. Eskom is expected to be back with more than 5,000 megawatts of generation capacity by Tuesday this week.

Watch Ramokgopa’s presentation here:

Is Stage 8 still “possible” this winter?

The worst is behind us – Ramukjupa sees the country as “I rode harder [wave]“When we experienced a severe cold last week. (South Africa’s Meteorological Service has warned that another cold front is expected to hit the country on Wednesday).

“At this point, we don’t really expect to go to those phases of shedding loads. We think that’s under control.”

While the minister bragged about a case of lessons learned, Eskom said the Phase 8 power outage, albeit unlikely, The possibility remains this winter.

“High demand for electricity for the rest of the winter will be determined largely by how cold weather plays out across the country in the coming weeks and what generation capacity is available when that happens. While less likely, given the current performance of Eskom’s generating fleet, it is still Elimination of Stage 8 loads is possible this winter. Daily Maverick last Wednesday.

Security issues

Police Minister Biki Sele, who was due to join Ramukjoba and provide an update on security issues related to the implementation of the Energy Action Plan, was absent from Monday’s briefing.

Giving a brief update on the security issues, Ramukjoba said that since 1 April 2022, 2,147 Eskom-related cases have been reported to the South African Police Service.

The Minister of Electricity informs the media. (Photo: Jairus Rabbit/GCIS)

Some 1,586 of these cases were under investigation, and 126 have been arrested since April 1 of last year.

“It’s incremental progress,” he said, “but we’re making meaningful progress.”

In addition to the technical solutions Eskom is seeking to solve the load shedding problem, Ramokgopa said the tool remains focused on addressing “some of the core problems that were Eskom like fraud, corruption and security issues”.

After declaring it as the state The first minister of electricity In March 2023, Ramokgopa came under fire for it general data that Eskom’s challenges were technical issues, unrelated to “so-called corruption”.

Read more at The Daily Maverick: Dear Minister Ramokgopa, Here is a list of corruption cases affecting Eskom

Minister later contradicts his claimsHowever, after touring all of the power stations in Eskom, he discovers that there is corruption at the Medupi and Tutuka stations. DM


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