CSIR releases power sector statistics for first-half of 2021 presenting the extent of loadshedding already experienced whilst highlighting the growing role of clean energy
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has released a half-year update of its periodic annual statistics on utility-scale power generation focussing on the first-half of 2021 (H1-2021).
The H1-2021 statistics showed that system demand increased by 5.0% in H1-2021 relative to H1-2020 but was 2.2% lower than H1-2019.
Coal continues to dominate the South African energy mix contributing 81.8% to the national energy mix in H1-2021 as an additional coal unit at Kusile power station entered into commercial operation. The contribution from renewable energy sources totalled almost 11% (solar PV, wind, hydro, Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), others) whilst zero-carbon energy sources contributed 14.3% (renewables and nuclear).
Based on data originally published by Eskom, insights are provided on technology specific daily, weekly and monthly electricity production, actual loadshedding experienced in H1-2021 as well as flexibility needs of the power system.
South Africa unfortunately experienced loadshedding for 650 hours in H1-2021 (15% of the time) wherein 963 GWh of estimated energy was shed (mostly Stage 2 loadshedding). This is 76% of the total loadshedding experienced during 2020.
The extent of loadshedding experienced was largely driven by a declining Energy Availability Factor (EAF) of the existing coal fleet where overall the EAF was 61.3% for H1-2021 (relative to 65% in 2020 and 66.9% in 2019). A concerning shift of the unplanned outage component of the EAF has also been highlighted where unplanned outages of up to 15 300 MW were experienced and were greater than 10 000 MW for more than 80% of H1-2021.