Africa|Energy|Eskom|Power|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Service|Solar|Maintenance
Africa|Energy|Eskom|Power|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Service|Solar|Maintenance

Solar not to blame for recent Stage 6 loadshedding – SAPVIA

SAPVIA CEO Dr Rethabile Melamu

SAPVIA CEO Dr Rethabile Melamu

15th February 2024

By: Schalk Burger

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Industry organisation the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) has moved to factually dispute Electricity Minister Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa's recent statement that “nonperforming renewables” were the cause of Stage 6 loadshedding having been implemented late last week.

SAPVIA CEO Dr Rethabile Melamu said the Minister’s comments at the weekend misrepresented the role that renewable energy, and in particular solar PV, had to play in the nation’s energy mix.

“For the period being referenced by the Minister, namely February 7 to 11, average hourly renewables production was 2 098 MW, thereby shielding South Africa from approximately two stages of loadshedding,” she emphasised.

When Stage 6 was announced late on the evening of February 10, total renewable production was 1 661 MW, which was more than double the total production during the same hour the previous week, when loadshedding was at Stage 2.

“The total wind and solar PV production was 95% of the average hourly renewable production for the period from January 28 to February 11, which is a 360-hour period. Without the renewable energy production, stage 7 or 8 would likely have been implemented,” said Melamu.

“We believe [Ramokgopa] understands the role that various energy types play in the realisation of an energy-secure future in which the economy can grow and flourish. It is for this reason that we wish to factually correct his statements,” she said.

A power update issued by State-owned power utility Eskom on February 10 confirmed that they had “…faced setbacks due to multiple generating units being taken out of service, or ten generating units. A total of five generating units, or 50%, were taken out of service due to boiler tube leaks. Unplanned outages are at 17 798 MW of generating capacity, while the capacity out of service for planned maintenance is at 6 653 MW”, she highlighted.

“I look forward to the chance of engaging directly with the Ministry to ensure an accurate reflection of solar PV’s contribution,” Melamu said.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online




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