'Eskom misleads us a lot, there isn’t much put aside for maintenance'

Refilwe Moloto interviews energy expert Adil Nchabeleng.

Eskom’s 15 coalfired power stations are old and worn.

They generate 80% of South Africa’s electricity, but regularly break down.

Eskom also runs Africa’s only nuclear power station and a handful of pumped storage plants, hydroelectric plants, backup gas plants, and a wind farm.

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It is due to shut down 22 000 MW in coalfired generation by 2035, close to half of the 46 000 MW of nominal capacity it has right now.

The plan is for gas and renewable energy to replace some of it while independent power producers will make up the shortfall.

Refilwe Moloto interviewed energy expert Adil Nchabeleng (scroll up to listen).

They spoke about a few of these power stations, their location, their generating capacity, and the challenges they face.

4 800 MW are coming from Medupi and Kusile… They’re usually down… They’re doing 1500 MW at a time… Most of them [coalfired power stations] were built between the 1960s and 1980s…

Adil Nchabeleng, Energy expert

Tube leaks… units break down… there are many issues… coal being wet has not caused load shedding in two years… We get misled quite a lot… There isn’t much put aside for maintenance… or to introduce newer technology that would help it become more efficient…

Adil Nchabeleng, Energy expert

You need as much as [electricity] possible… We are not surviving! … There are no reserves… To create a new power station, you’re looking at billions of rands…

Adil Nchabeleng, Energy expert

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