Explainer: How serious is the situation at Eskom's stations really?

Explainer: How serious is the situation at Eskom's stations really?

- Eskom's energy woes seem to be worsening still

- The power utility has recently implemented stage 4 load-shedding once again

- The current state of its energy production paints a bleak picture for the future

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Eskom's recent return to stage 4 load-shedding is reportedly the result of damage done by cyclone Idai to power sources in Mozambique.

However, Eskom's energy woes run much deeper than just this incident and go back several years.

So how serious is Eskom's current situation, really?

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One of the major reasons for Eskom's electricity issue is the under-performance of its coal power stations.

Energy demand is far greater than the supply these plants can provide, and recent reports indicate that Eskom may have less than 19 000 megawatts available from its coal-based stations, according to The Citizen.

The power utility has access to a further 7 000 megawatts from hydroelectric and wind power sources. Even with these sources combined, this is still far below the energy producer's nominal capacity of roughly 38 000 megawatts.

Evidence of how bad Eskom's situation currently is can be found in the fact that the power utility has currently turned to pumped storage schemes to keep the electricity on.

However, these energy-producers actually use more electricity than they can generate. So Eskom is running at an energy loss just to temporarily keep the lights on.

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This is just a snapshot of the power utility's current situation, but the problems and poor policies decisions stretch back at least 2008, when Eskom was warned that it would need to construct several new coal mines to keep up with energy demand.

Since then, the parastal has not constructed a single new mine.

In other words, our energy problems are here to stay, for the time being at least.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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