IndustrySA Issue 51

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Editor’s note

A change came on Thursday 29th May with a day off from the frequent load shedding South Africa has been experiencing recently – due to the 800MW power surge generated by the Medupi Power Station – this helped to restore stability onto the grid. Eskom announced further that people can expect the first week of June to be free of load shedding too, although it advises using electricity sparingly.
With the nights now drawing in and growing colder, reliable power is becoming increasingly important and for many weeks, residents and business owners have been dealing with rolling black outs, particularly in the evenings when demand sits at its highest.
“Our ambition is not to have load shedding in the first place, but I do continue to monitor the situation, if it does change from where we are now, then we will give due notice to the nation as to where we are. But from our side, the plan is not to have load shedding at all,” says Eskom’s Khulu Pasiwe.
With Unit 6 of the Medupi station still under construction, it is thought these rolling black outs could reoccur in the coming weeks.
So what is the alternative to ensuring efficient and reliable power? The Cookhouse wind farm, which began feeding onto the grid at the end of 2014, currently stands as the biggest wind farm to be built in Africa, with 66 turbines generating 138MW of clean power.
And with an array of alternative energy sources now steadily cropping up all over Africa, the implementation of solar, biomass and wind energy is helping to ensure power is fed back onto the national grid – subsequently helping the rural communities suffering from frequent load shedding slots.
Director of the South African Wind Energy Association, Johan van den Berg said: “It is set to completely transform these deep rural communities in terms of healthcare, education, job creation and a raft of other interventions. All this while putting green electricity on the grid at affordable prices.”
How has the persistent load shedding affected your business? Will these shortages cause you to consider a greener alternative? Get in touch with us here @industrysa or via email.

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