17 June 2024 | 12:42 PM

Are things getting worse at Eskom?

Key Takeaways

  • A year ago, we warned that the plan to end loadshedding contained a fatal flaw: it relied too heavily on reversing the decline of the coal fleet.
  • Last month, Eskom provided us with the latest per-station data, providing a far more detailed picture than the public Eskom data portal.
  • The data shows that while some stations have made strides (Medupi +9%), most deteriorated (Hendrina -24%).

The lights are going out, literally and figuratively.

A year ago, President Cyril Ramaphosa finally put his foot down and announced a plan to vanquish loadshedding.

“We as a nation will have to grit our teeth as things get worse, while we all pull together to achieve this one unifying strategic mission,” respected energy expert and big picture thinker Professor Mark Swilling warned in an op-ed in May 2022.

One year on, Ramaphosa’s Energy Action Plan has chalked up some wins – rooftop solar, licensing, and laying the groundwork for a competitive energy market – but coal is not one of them: The performance of the coal fleet is getting worse. We’re burning diesel like there’s no tomorrow. And instead of Swilling’s “unifying strategic mission”, there is a sharpening battle over the future of coal, where the debate is increasingly unhinged from the facts. Explore the data here or get a snapshot of where we are:

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Susan Comrie and Ankit Paliwal, Input Editor at IANS in India

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