eskom crisis: why the lights keep going out in south africa - solar panel traffic lights

by:Litel Technology     2019-08-11
eskom crisis: why the lights keep going out in south africa  -  solar panel traffic lights
Families, offices and businesses in South Africa go through a week-long blackout every day to prevent a complete collapse of the over-stretched power grid.
The use of planned blackouts or load reductions is not new in the country. -
But the latest round of talks is by far the most devastating, causing strong public protests. As the state-
State-owned power company Eskom, fighting to meet demand, warned that it might run out of money and default on huge debts by April.
Eskom is one of the largest power companies in the world, while South Africa is one of the largest power companies in the world. -
African industrialized countries.
The crisis of utilities poses a huge threat to the economy and to the political survival of President Cyril Ramafosa, who faces elections in May.
The latest round of blackouts was due to maintenance problems at Eskom Power Station.
However, this is not the first time that utilities have adopted load reduction.
Similar measures were taken late last year, as well as in 2008 and 2015.
In fact, the current crisis is the result of a perfect storm in which rising costs, falling incomes, collapse of infrastructure, decades of corruption and mismanagement play a role.
Eskom produces almost all of its electricity from coal, a rich resource in South Africa.
Its coal fleet-
During the White Age, thermal power plants generated enough electricity to meet the country's needs. -
Minority rule ended in 1994.
Since then, demand has surged as a result of rapid economic growth and expanded coverage of poor black towns.
Milton Nkosi of the BBC in Johannesburg said Eskom bought millions of consumers in the Post. -
Apartheid year, but its expansion has been hampered by poor management.
Quick action is needed to power the grid, but no action has been taken.
Only if there is a shortage in the medium term-
In the 2000's, the government announced an expensive overhaul plan, including plans to build two large new power plants. -
Kusile and edupi.
Kusile and Medupi had planned to be fully operational by 2015, but their construction was plagued by rising costs, delays and corruption scandals.
Analysts said Brian Molefe was the most promising of the six CEOs appointed as chief executive of South Africa's National Electricity Corporation (Eskom) in the past decade, and he won praise for solving maintenance problems and construction delays.
But he resigned after a year of work because he was accused of being anti-government. -
The corrupt institution that helped the Gupta family had business with Jacob Zuma, the son of the President.
Mr. Moriff, the Gupta, Mr. Zuma and his son all denied the charges of their violations.
Today, while the demonstrative Kusile and Medupi power plants are years away from completion, their estimated costs have doubled, affecting Eskom's financial position.
At the same time, coal prices have risen, and the cost of employing labour has risen by nearly 50%, 50% higher than it was 10 years ago.
Utilities were forced to raise tariffs, which led to a drop in sales.
Rich customers and businesses have turned to renewable sources of energy, such as solar panels, and their costs have fallen.
Meanwhile, poor cities that continue to get electricity from the Eskom grid are defaulting on payments, leading to debt.
Load cuts have further reduced Eskom's income, undermined the economy as a whole, and reduced industrial output and commercial productivity.
But compared with the potential damage to the economy caused by Eskom's bankruptcy, the cost of temporary blackouts is negligible.
The company has recently been described by government officials as a "technological bankruptcy" and a "death spiral".
It owes nearly 420 billion rand. (£23bn; $30bn)-
It can't even pay interest on a huge sum of money.
More than half of Eskom's debt is guaranteed by the government, accounting for 15% of the country's debt.
The International Bank says Eskom is the biggest threat to South Africa's economy.
In order to save Eskom, the government may be asked to inject more capital into public utilities and assume more debt.
But it is not clear where the government can find resources to do so.
The economy is shaky, and any bailout of Eskom could damage South Africa's credit rating and make the situation worse.
The government is considering dividing Eskom into three companies, each responsible for generating, transmitting and distributing electricity.
Many industry analysts believe that this may make the industry more competitive and therefore more efficient.
But the plan was opposed by powerful unions, who feared it would lead to privatization and unemployment.
The unions resisted attempts to lay off workers and recently won a fight for cash raises. -strapped firm.
Since the 1990s, successive governments have been drawing up plans to divide Eskom, but they have not succeeded in any way.
But as the crisis in utility companies is threatening the economy, the need for decisive action has never been greater.
The government may also consider giving the South African National Electricity Corporation a greater role in South Africa's nascent renewable energy sector.
The company currently buys renewable energy from small independent suppliers for distribution across the grid.
No matter what action is taken, South Africans are unlikely to see the last load reduction.
According to Ted Blom, an independent energy expert, utilities bear most of the responsibility for the current crisis.
"You can't manage an organization with a limited budget," he said, criticizing the lack of investment in basic maintenance. "This was self-
Implemented by Eskom.
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