Thursday, January 15, 2009

Eskom's Reserve Margin is 8% and declining

NVDL: By the time the lights go on that this problem hasn't been solved in SA, the lights will be going off again.

I have 3 suggestions:
1) New homes need to be increasingly off-the-grid including wind powered, with geysers solar powered
2. Massified power stations ar ebecomign obsolete. Neighborhoods need to develiop their own micro-power stations. For this, a mini portable reactor (such as the one from Toshiba: can be used.
3. Increasing vigilance and disciplined use of energy by ball consumers, with incentives/penalties to save/conserve. In time these may become laws and taxes to force compliance.
ABOUT this time last year, South Africans were coming to terms with the reality that the country was facing a crisis because Eskom did not have enough electricity capacity to meet demand.

Eskom gave several reasons for the supply shortage. These included the relatively low reserve margin, low coal stocks, heavy summer rains and maintenance of power stations.

It did not take long for South Africans to become accustomed to load shedding.

Fast forward to this year. The situation is not as dire. We are starting to forget about load shedding.

A shrinking reserve margin is Eskom’s nightmare as it keeps the prospects of a power crisis alive, especially in the event of planned or unplanned shutdowns of power stations. It is a constant threat to the security of supply.

Eskom spokesman Fani Zulu says an inadequate reserve margin forces the power supplier to run its power stations harder.

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