Johannesburg plans a two-stage reduction of Eskom power...

2022-09-24 04:57:54 By : Mr. lidong chen

There is plenty to be despondent about living in South Africa right now. But every now and then a glimmer of hope arrives to keep us believing that the future we all deserve is possible. Like the arrests this week of former SAPS national commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane and other generals in SAPS Crime Intelligence. These arrests follow those of Brian Molefe and Anoj Singh last month. You might recall their names from the #GuptaLeaks where we exposed their dodgy Transnet contracts.

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Not for the first time, ordinary South Africans are stepping up where the government isn’t… From creating apps to alert others about load shedding, to parking their cars and assisting as point guards to keep traffic moving, our collective ability to take care of each other when the chips are down might be the last thing keeping us going.

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In a city whipped hard by power cuts, the Johannesburg coalition government has promised to rapidly limit the stages of rolling blackouts by buying private power.

The MMC for environment and infrastructure services, Michael Sun, says that within weeks, Johannesburg will issue a proposal request (RFP) and wants to inject new power into the city grid by the end of the year. 

Sun says if the city buys 500MW of independent power, it can reduce the Eskom stranglehold and limit power cuts by 50%.

Depending on demand, this can mean that in the short to medium term, Johannesburg will be two stages below the Eskom cuts. Cape Town has, until recently, managed to limit national blackouts by one stage. A two-stage cut is significant.  

“Stage 4 in Johannesburg is probably a Stage 6 in other municipalities,” said Sun in an interview. “The production hours we have lost are unimaginable.”

Johannesburg is still responsible for about 15% of the national GDP, but that is coming down because of the impact of rolling blackouts on the city’s economy.

“City Power is experiencing a significant increase in outages across all its infrastructure. There might be a slight improvement from specific depots; however, the rate of the breakdowns is progressively worsening,” according to the utility’s latest annual report. Before the latest cuts, Johannesburg residents experienced regular multiday outages as the old grid creaked and thieves laid waste to 95km of cable.

There are now more cuts than power in Lawley, Ennerdale, Vlakfontein, Zakariyya Park, Lehae, Eldorado Park, Power Park and Lenasia. Eskom supplies Soweto, but it’s the same story, and there is support in the ANC (which is fighting to get the city out of the coalition government’s control) to incorporate it under City Power.  

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Sun says the city will buy from big and small producers as it does not want to create a new monopoly supplier. News24 reported that the city had extended its agreement with Kelvin Power Station, the private supplier, and the MMC said gas was also likely to play a vital role. Egoli Gas supplies parts of the city and is a relatively low-cost and reliable source of piped gas. Sun says there are plans for solar use, but that batteries must first be installed to store energy.

Johannesburg will also use ripple relay switches so the city can remotely cut off your geyser, pool pump and other high-energy soakers. It will replace City Power’s energy with solar panels, starting at its Reuven headquarters.  

Sun says Johannesburg has installed 2,000 LED street lights, but with 300,000 street lights in total, the number is negligible, and residents often complain that the entire fleet of street lights is on the blink. There are plans for Apollo high-mast LED lights across Johannesburg, said Sun.  

Johannesburg is being thumped hard by cable thieves who use the rolling blackout schedules to plan where they strike. At the weekend, a Roodepoort substation was taken out by cable thieves while another in Industria caught alight.  

Seven in 10 of the city’s substations must be manually switched on and off to comply with Eskom’s power cut demands, and the old infrastructure is wearing thin.

“When you switch on and off that way, it blows up. Technicians then have to look for where the damage is — the fuse box, the cable or the mini-substation. And they can’t get it fixed when load shedding sets in. You can’t fix anything if there is no electricity,” said Sun.

Johannesburg makes R21-billion annually in electricity service charges on bulk purchases — a significant chunk of its R77-billion annual budget.

“We need to put residents first,” Sun says, adding that the city will take a hit as it moves to cut dependence on Eskom. He says the city’s coffers will be boosted in the medium term by better revenues through more investment.  

The city is also talking to the National Treasury and Cabinet ministers to secure more investment in infrastructure. City Power needs R27-billion to upgrade its infrastructure. DM

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by Ferial Haffajee, Daily Maverick September 20, 2022

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I think this clown must go and join de Ruyter and his circus at Megawatt Park. He has no clue of energy from various sources and he needs to grasp that coal is still the best route for the development of the country. He should be calling for the disbandment of the circus that runs Eskom from the board to its executives that are running a different company using Eskom resources. In fact what the fellows led by de Ruyter are doing is bordering on criminality. Their mandate is to run the Eskom with its fleet not to do all the rubbish he goes around doing including COP26. The fool must be shown the door as of yesterday. He must repay the money he attended COP 26 with. We need generation not poppycock that comes out of Megawatt Park.

We have coal fired power. Medupi and Kusile are shining examples of your insulting inferences on how to fix the situation. Personally I don’t think you have the first clue about which you speak, but at least Gwede would be happy to hear you.

Spoke like a dinosaur with its head buried in the sand!

“coal is still the best route for the development of the country”.

That’s like saying a Pentium computer from 1995 is still the best solution for our computing needs when I carry 1000x Pentium computers in my pocket.

You need to study ERP of GARP to understand energy and its key elements as you seem to be illiterate on energy and I will not throw concepts that will confuse you like the energy availability factor or what is a base load and why renewables require a baseload. Do not defend the hogwash from Megawatt Park. Why is the EU going back to coal? The Europeans have exhausted their coal reserves hence imports and going nuclear was to deal with a resource they exhausted in their development. Listen to India that has no truck with hogwash. You want green energy when you do not have yellow or brown energy?

Cunningham: I was trying to decide whether you are sarcastic. If not here is a news flash – coal is dead, it is just a long memorial service while diesel tries to make up for the lost team members. Renewables plus storage gives dispatch-able IPP energy to the grid 20h a day at about Eskom current price and seemingly 30% less that what Eskom is asking to go to. Behind the meter I can do commercial size solar on rooftop plus storage and my own generators for almost half what my council charges and have the added bonus of (1) better for the environment (2) is laodshed-proof (3) it irritates the heck out of the fossilheads. Any company with the tiniest sense of startegy and tactics should be doing this even if they hate bunnies and love fossil fuels. I am not going to tie my business survival to Mantashe and MilliWatt Park.

Go and tell the Europeans as they return to coal fired power stations with the energy prices going through the roof. We are exporting a lot of coal to Europe. Only a fool can say coal is dead as well as nuclear. The UK is ramping up its nuclear build. Who are these IPPs and who own them? We must not support the destruction of Eskom in the name of green energy. The same crowd that clapped hands when the Railway Police were destroyed to open tenders for private security. Look at Transnet and PRASA now. We are not fools as profiteers are punting IPPs. You must read the Energy Risk Professional of GARP to understand energy. The clown who is the CEO and its board have a responsibility to fix Eskom not to be a promotion company for IPPs. Nigeria, has taken years to build power stations because the off grid generator benefited thugs. That goes for refineries as Nigeria imports fuel though it is an oil producer because thugs do not want refineries as they profit from the misery of Nigerians. We must defend ESKOM from de Ruyter and his clowns!

Quote “from the board to its executives that are running a different company using Eskom resources” And you have evidence of this? Please share? Otherwise you need to be circumspect in case you get sued. Funny how you blame the current management for a crisis caused by cadres over many years, or do you believe that the likes of Molefe, Singh et al did a great job? If so, how? When? What? I have occasion to visit Eskom stations and whilst they are still in a terrible state, one can see progress. Buyers being dismissed for corruption and much more interrogation of suppliers and orders… Hallelujah!! AT last!! Maybe us honest folk can go back to doing business on an equal footing. I believe De Ruyter and Oberholzer and their team are really trying, against all odds and with very limited resources. It will take a miracle or a lot of money to fix the broken car that has been driven hard on gravel roads for so many years and not been serviced properly, if ever. You should also note the headwinds created by not only direct sabotage, but go slows and ignoring of instructions by the many people that are afraid their gravy train is about to leave the station and they are trying desperately to prevent it from leaving.

They are welcome to sue. Their Press Conferences tell you that they are busy with something else! Have you been following the poppycock they say in their press conferences and de Ruyter on COP26? Then you are living in another country. Look at their financial and the cost of diesel that has gone through the roof. They are burning diesel not fixing Eskom. The litany of brreak downs are reasons enough to fire them for sleeping on the job. You just take the poppycock from their press conferences and write it as reasons for dismissal!

Good morning Daily Maverick I hope in COJ plans they will actively buy in excess solar pv from small suppliers. Aka net metering. Also will they actively suggest folk install solar in an area and if more than x folk have solar there is no load shedding in the day.

Ripple switches are a great strategy however in the past electricians disconnected them for homeowners. This is a hearts and minds situation and without education /media / marketing there will be big resistance. We need communal batteries in complexes and at subs. Australia has had huge success with this.

Agreed. Batteries in neighbourhood blocks, self generated and self dispensed power. Remind me why this is illegal again? Oh that’s right. Because control of energy is control of cash, control of people, and vests control in the useless, inept crooked State. It is, as Kieswetter is fond of saying, morally bankrupt.

All good suggestions….it seems like the future of energy supply will have to be self sufficient or community sufficient ( by complexes, estates or even Municipalities.) It might be more cost effective to just privatise Eskom and turn it into a franchise operation!

Dear DM – publishing this shortsighted comment will make you lose insiders

Pam: I think I know which one you refer to, but remember: opinions are like anuses, everybody is entitled to one and they are very hard to change. If all here had same opinions we may as well be a facebook echo chamber.

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