Electricity Load shedding

RSA in crisis

 

In South Africa we have a power crisis are subject to wholesale "load shedding" which is clever euphemism for " we screwed up and this is a result of of our lack of planning" Load shedding takes place on a Rota basis around the country but is a 4 hour switch off to "conserve electricity". the mines had to reduce consumption too and sometimes households are shed twice a week at the most inconvenient times.

Everyone is now scrambling to install generators or battery inverters to bypass the problem.

Cheap equipment from China and other places are flooding into the country and are being poorly installed causing fires, death from carbon monoxide poisoning, blown electrical supplies and of course bypassing electrical distribution boards resulting in live installations i.e. no earth leakage!

We need to resolve our crisis urgently but our powers that be say it will take a number of years to resolve the crisis by adding mainly coal fired power stations. But poor service delivery and allowing coal stock plies to run down have exacerbated the crisis

Our national suppliers Eskom warned the Government many years ago that we would run out of capacity by 2008 and we have.

Eskom have also done considerable work on Pebble Bed reactors but this does not seem to be a favored option.

Lost working time, Offices and Shooping Centres closed (or partly closed) traffic snarl ups as traffic lights are switched off are the order of the day!

Average South Africans are furious but Powerless!! (pun intended)

How can we resolve our problem?

Comments 27 comments

Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

The comments box is for comments, not simply for posting a link to your own hub. That's why I didn't pass your comment on mine.


sixyorso 8 years ago

I am new to this and maeant no offensebut once I statred commenting it turned into a blog of its own.


CherylTheWriter profile image

CherylTheWriter 8 years ago from Humble, Texas (the ultimate oxymoron)

sixtyorso, how is this affecting the SA economy? Surely it has to hurt businesses and productivity.

Unfortunately, I don't see any viable long-term solution that can be implemented in the short term. The going thing right now in Texas is wind farms, which harvest the gusts across West Texas (not to mention all that hot air) and is currently supplying about eight to ten per cent of our electricity needs. But like any other source of energy, it takes time to develop and install.

Bet your electricians and DIY experts are making a good second income installing generators.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

You are absolutely spot on. Major impact on mining , manufacture and small business. Both generators and inverters are in high demand. Winter (which is now) will also have its toll. It will take around 7 years to resolve the crisis.


ColdWarBaby 8 years ago

In America, they call them rolling blackouts. A few years back they cost the then governor of California his job when, in reality, it was deregulation and intentional limits on production that were to blame. I think the Enron debacle brought this to light.

It's long past time we stopped burning things to produce energy. It's inefficient and destructive. The sun is doing more than enough "burning" to provide for all our energy needs in short order. Unfortunately, you can't go anywhere on your bicycle until you get on it and start peddling. Seems that those who advocate "free" markets and capitalism in all its various forms don't want to see anyone doing too much peddling.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi ColdWarBaby

You are absolutely right and lots of research is taking place in order to find alternative energy sources. Fossil fuel and food shortage (as farmers convert edible crops into biofuel production) is another major problem. None of the above problems are unique to South Africa. Brasil too recently had a major electricity crisis. I was in New York round about the time of the brownouts and major power failure (seventies as I recall). Cest la vie!

Thanks for reading and commenting


New Day profile image

New Day 8 years ago from Western United States

Fascinating to read how other governments are dealing with the energy crisis. A follow-up hub with additional information would be great! Thank you. New Day.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

New Day

Thank you for reading and commenting. I will certainly do a follow up in due course.


Juliet Christie profile image

Juliet Christie 7 years ago from Sandy Bay Jamaica

We do have electricity outages in Jamaica but it is not bad. The problems we have is the high cost for the commodity. Many home owners are thinking of installing solar energy. It may cost a tidy some at first for the panels and the batteries. I heard that the real solar energy battery one can cost up to S50,000 ja.

but it is guaranteed to last 15 years. The solar panels are expensive too. but once installed you can make back the money you spend in 2 1/2 years on the money you save on electricity bills.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Juliet Thanks for stopping by and commenting. We are also looking holistically at energy and there is some subsidisation planned fo solar equipment. But it is a little pricy to install, initially .


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

I guess as juliet mentioned the long term advantages for Solar power outweigh the short term costs. Surely the big industries can afford the costs. Also higher altitudes wind power can be tried out too. I am not too well versed in these things but I am sure the government should have seen this coming and planned accordingly.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

This has actually been a world wide problem. America stil has challenges in terms of electricty provision. Brazil had problems for a number of years. In South Africa economic growth has outstripped supply. The problem was foreseen but alas the authorities were too slow to react. Remember at the the time when the forecasts were done South Africa was touting SA as a business and manufacturing destination with the cheapest electricity in the world and we were and still are exporting electricity to neighbouring states like Zimbabwe and Swaziland and Gabarones.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Here in US where I am residing for the past few years not even once I witnessed power failure. Well in our area in India(where my parents reside) we have 100% electricity but still throughout the country there are many areas where their is load shedding for a few hours. India grew close to 10% consistently over the past few years and accordingly lots of nucleur power plants have been opened. I agree "Failing to plan is planning to fail".

Btw are you guys still exporting to countries like Zimbabwe with their hyperinflation... I guess it hurts to have weak neighbours.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

As far as the Zimbabwe situation is concerned despite some blustering from various parties we apparently still supply to them. With respect to the USA stiuation see http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3316 , also google "electricity supply problems in USA" for a selection of issues.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

US is the third largest in population and counting (since it attracts immigrants from all over the world) hence there are bound to be these issues. As mentioned in the link that in 5-10 years there maybe "problems". But since I studied here in US and finished my Masters, I feel no reason to be gloomy.  The US universities carry out a wide range of fundamental research and already they would have come out with a back up plan. I don't know somehow I can never visualize US as having these basic problems. Even in this bad economy when people complain that they can't afford the extra boat or RV most of the basic needs have been taken care of. Iam still pretty optimistic about US and of their ability to come out with alternative strategies. I hope the situation improves in South Africa too with more nucleur plants and other energy producing avenues being harnessed.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

CW There are two nuclear plants in the pipeline as wel as construction of conventional coal fired power plants. The Electricity Supply commission gives a subsidy for solar power and incentives for reducing of electricty loads. There is a blue print being developed for self providers to feed back into the grid (but this raises a question of differential tariff as self generation tends to be more expensive than the nation grid). Also we are looking at "energy" holistically as it does not help to put in diesel powered back up plants (as many thousands have done) when this leeds to expensive diesel over consumption which adds fuel (pardon the pun) to the fuel crisis situation.

However, we can expect load shheding to be a feature of our lives for at least the next 2-3 years.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Thanks for the good news on the SA approach to deal with this crisis. Btw hope you have a laptop with backup battery. I had a bad experience in India when I was writing a document the power tripped and my desktop shutdown abruptly. I had to work for 2 hours more to finish my term assignment paper (My dad promptly bought a UPS when I told him about my frustration that day). My dad is such a darling....hehe


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

My laptop will carrry on for about two hours and then automatically "hibernate" . I have lost work due to my own stupidity sometimes but I learn fairly quickly (I hope).


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

I sure hope you have learnt quickly not to send unflattering pictures of oneself to anybody....LOL


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

I never send any pictures to anyone unless they ask nicely and likewise I dont get too many either. Misty has her own unique way of manufacturing pictures aided and abetted by Christoph, Shades and Spryte!


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

I hope you didn't feel bad about me reminding that incident. I was just joking and I apologize if I said anything to hurt you.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

CW No No no need to apologise to me. I take it all in good clean fun. Life and friendsdship is about sharing memories and events both with humour and seriousness as the case may be. I absolutely take it in that light LOL


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Iam so glad I didn't rub you the wrong way. Somehow your previous statement reminded me of that incident and I blurted it out but then I felt maybe I shouldn't have been so spontaneous. But anyway all's well that ends well. I finished my pending work items and got to hit the bed now. Have a great day.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Cw goodnight Sleep tight!


shreya 6 years ago

ok bye


shane 6 years ago

i understand


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Strange comments ?

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