Eskom warns of power cuts as winter chill puts grid under pressure

The utility suspended stage two blackouts at 5am on Tuesday morning, but said that the higher demand for power, as a result of the cold front setting in, may mean more outages with little notice.

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JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - As cold and rainy conditions take hold in Gauteng, Eskom has warned that it may need to cut your electricity again this week.

The utility suspended stage two blackouts at 5am on Tuesday morning, but said that the higher demand for power, as a result of the cold front setting in, may mean more outages with little notice.

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While Eskom called on everyone in the country to use its only service sparingly, energy experts warned that the only way to solve South Africa's power crisis was self-generation.

Energy expert Chris Yelland said that power generation by IPPs and customers was the only solution for now.

“The only short-term option self-generation by customers or generation by IPPs wheeled through the grid from the point of generation to the point of consumption. And this can deliver a new generation capacity quickly and by that, I mean in the next year,” he said.

He said that government needed to come on board to unlock some of the red tape around independent power producers.

“If the regulatory processes is unlocked, if the red tape is removed, if the generation license threshold is increased from one megawatt to 50 megawatts, which is what industry has been proposing - I'm here talking about Busa, BLSA the energy intensive user group," Yelland said.

Customers have been advised to use electricity sparingly.

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