Load-shedding is coming back, according to energy expert Ted Blom.
Speaking to MyBroadband, Blom stated that load-shedding will “absolutely” return and it was only a matter of time before the power cuts were back.
“We are not anywhere near winter,” said Blom, referring to the fact electricity demand peaks during the cold season.
Eskom has stated that South Africa has a “peak” electricity demand profile in winter – where demand climbs significantly and peaks during the evening.
The greatest risk period for load-shedding in winter is between 17:30 and 18:30, according to Eskom.
Blom added that Eskom has also not secured long-term coal contracts, which may affect the supply of high-quality coal to power stations.
When exactly load-shedding will return, and how bad it will be, is unknown at the moment, stated Blom.
Blom’s statements follow severe load-shedding in the country during March, which saw stage 4 load-shedding implemented in long stretches.
Don’t buy a generator
To prepare for the return of load-shedding, which may be implemented for years to come, South Africans can install backup and alternative-generation power solutions.
Blom said those affected by load-shedding should definitely look at backup power systems.
“You can do it gradually. You need to do it systematically,” said Blom. He stated that, for example, you should buy one solar panel every six months to slowly put together an off-the-grid solution.
Users must also educate themselves about how to run and take care of their backup systems.
A good-quality battery, for example, can last 20 years if maintained and run properly – but only two years if it is not looked after, said Blom.
Blom also stated that the “last thing” you should do is a buy a fuel-powered generator to combat load-shedding.
He said people underestimate how long a generator will last for, and that running a generator is not cheap.
“I have two generators, and they are noisy and expensive to run,” said Blom.
On top of this, generators must be serviced regularly – which is an expensive task.