Tuesday, July 2, 2024
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Load Shedding’s Dead


Eskom’s Golden Gamble: Three Months Without Load Shedding, But at What Cost?

As the people of South Africa bask in the unusual luxury of three months without load shedding, the question on everyone’s lips is: what’s behind this unprecedented streak of good fortune? Is it a miraculous turn of events, or a reckless gamble by Eskom to buy its way out of trouble?

Let’s be real, folks. Three months without load shedding is an eternity in the world of energy crisis management. It’s a feat that requires a delicate balance of supply and demand, and Eskom’s ability to keep the lights on is nothing short of miraculous. But at what cost?

The OCGT Conundrum

Eskom’s solution to the crisis has been to rely on open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs), those expensive and noisy behemoths that run on diesel. And run they have, churning out 390GWh of electricity at a cost of R2.7 billion. But is this a sustainable solution? The numbers don’t lie: Eskom spent R8.3 billion on OCGTs in the same period last year, producing 1 354GWh. This is a staggering 67% decrease in productivity, and a significant increase in cost.

The Politics of Load Shedding

But what’s really behind Eskom’s sudden willingness to spend big on OCGTs? Is it a genuine attempt to keep the lights on, or is it a desperate attempt to buy political favor? The skeptics among us will tell you that Eskom’s sudden change of heart is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to curry favor with the ANC ahead of the election.

And then there’s the question of the OCGT’s impact on Eskom’s already overstretched budget. Is it a sustainable solution, or a recipe for disaster? We’re not just talking about the financial implications here; we’re talking about the very fabric of our society. Will Eskom’s reliance on OCGTs lead to a catastrophic collapse of the grid, or will it buy us just enough time to sort out our energy crisis once and for all?

The CEO’s Warning

Eskom CEO Dan Marokane’s warning that load shedding remains a risk should send shivers down the spines of even the most ardent optimists. It’s a stark reminder that we’re not out of the woods yet, and that Eskom’s latest gamble could come back to haunt us in the worst possible way.

So, as we bask in the glow of three months without load shedding, let’s not forget the real story behind this sudden turn of events. It’s a tale of politics, greed, and the desperate attempt to keep the lights on at any cost. And when the music stops, will we be left holding the bag? Only time will tell.



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