South Africans have been urged to become more energy efficient with the possibility of further load shedding and outages on the horizon.
At a media briefing held in Pretoria on Thursday (28 March), senior energy experts from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) provided analysis on how South Africans can alleviate the impact of load shedding.
CSIR principal researcher, Dr Jarrad Wright, along with his colleague, senior researcher Joanne Calitz, discussed a range of options available to reduce electricity usage among households.
As part of their presentation, the researchers presented a series of graphs showing how load shedding has changed since 2015.
The research is based on the assumption that load shedding has taken place for the intended number of hours. Practically, load shedding (and the stage) may occasionally change/end during a particular hour.
The researchers found that load shedding in 2015 predominantly occurred during high demand periods – day and evening peaks.
By comparison, 2019 saw a much wider range of hours where load shedding occurred – with outages taking place not only during peak periods but over long periods during the day and in the evening.
Eskom suspended load shedding on Sunday 24 March following a period of more than 10 days of continuous outages.
The power utility attributed the return of power to a recovery in plant performance and an increase in diesel and water reserves.
Imports from Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa plant also increased to 850MW, with the restoration of feed from one of the two lines after the area was hit by a cyclone.
However, experts have warned that load shedding could last for at least several months as the power provider deals with ageing infrastructure and winter.