Power Generation Data in South Africa

Last Updated: January 2024

1. Annual Energy Mix

Coal still dominates with 73% of total generation. Renewable energy contributed 13.4% of the energy mix in 2023. Unserved energy (load shedding) was 7.4% of the system load.

There was no change in the installed capacity in 2023. This look at capacity at the end of 2023 excludes embedded and private generation.

Energy production is on a slight downward trend since 2011; however, unserved energy is increasing rapidly in recent years.

Peak demand and energy production both have downward trends over the years.

Renewable energy capacity and production are on the rise, but still constitute a small portion of the total energy mix.  CSP costs are high and have more variability while wind and solar PV costs are both on a more stable downward trend.

Koeberg Nuclear power station was originally set for end-of-life in 2024, however, the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2023) indicated it will be extended by a few years.

2. Eskom Monthly Electrical Production

Energy Availability Factor (EAF) has reduced overall from 2022.

Unserved energy was worse in the first half of 2023.

The high diesel capacity continues from 2022.

Renewable energy has variable penetration throughout the day. Solar PV production is misaligned with the peak in energy demand.

Renewable energy is also variable throughout the year.

3. Rooftop Solar PV Capacity

Rooftop solar PV, or embedded generation, has been increasing steadily with the challenges in national energy supply (load shedding). This is not always a complete blessing, as this generation occurs “behind the meter” of the customer and cannot be controlled, predicted, or forecasted easily by the utility. Especially due to the large amount of unregistered systems.

This data can also be separated per province.

Now factoring in population size of each province.

The last figure is slightly more technical, from the paper written by Mararakanye & Bekker, 2019. This illustrates the constraints experienced by the system as there is increased integration of renewable energy.

4. Load Shedding

Load shedding is increasing exponentially in recent years. In 2023 we experienced 6 838 hours (78%) of load shedding out of the 8 760 hours in the year.

We can now zoom in on the last few years and categorize the load shedding by stage. There was an 81% increase from 2022 to 2023 in the total number of hours. Stage 6 increased significantly from 2022 to 2023, by 505%.

Load shedding saw low months in 2023, including June, October, and December.

The upper limit of load shedding refers to the maximum load that attempted to be shed during a specific stage. Stage 1 has a load shedding upper limit of 1000MW, stage 2: 2000MW, stage 3: 3000 MW and so on. However, if load shedding occurs at night for example, the upper limit of load shedding is not met as the system load is low at that time. Therefor, the DSR (what was actually shed) is lower than the upper limit of that stage. Now we can compare the DSR with this upper limit for each month.

References

Eskom 2022 (TDP 2023 – 32): Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. (2022). The Eskom Transmission Development Plan (TDP) 2023 – 2032.

Eskom 2024: Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. (2024). Eskom Data Portal. https://www.eskom.co.za/dataportal/.

IRENA 2023: International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). (2023). Renewable energy statistics 2023. www.irena.org.

Mararakanye & Bekker 2019: Mararakanye, N., & Bekker, B. (2019). Renewable energy integration impacts within the context of generator type, penetration level and grid characteristics. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 108, 441–451. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.RSER.2019.03.045.

SALGA 2023: SALGA. (2023). Status of Embedded Generation in South African Municipalities. www.salga.org.za.

Eskom se Push: wellwellwell (Pty) Ltd. (2024). ESP – The Best Loadshedding app. https://esp.info/.