Cabinet welcomes Eskom's improved energy availability factor

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Cabinet says it welcomes the improvement in Eskom’s energy availability factor, which is now closer to 70%. 

This comes after about 400 megawatts (MW) have been added to the grid and planned maintenance has improved quickly.

The Cabinet statement released on Thursday also noted the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment’s National Air Quality Officer granting Eskom a postponement to meet minimum emission standards at Kusile Power Station, in Mpumalanga. 

“The postponement will allow Eskom to carry out repairs on the stack that was damaged on 23 October 2022. The power utility will also construct three temporary stacks that are expected to return 2 100 MW of power to the national grid and reduce load-shedding by two levels,” Cabinet explained. 

The Executive has reiterated government’s commitment to the Just Energy Transition (JET) and determination to mitigate the impact of climate change. 

The JET, established in 2020, aims to achieve “net zero” carbon emissions by 2050.

“Cabinet also thanked South Africans who continue to use electricity sparingly, especially during peak times. Our combined energy efforts have helped bring about lower stages of load shedding.”

They further welcomed the commitments made at the New Global Financing Pact Summit held in Paris, France, last month. 

The summit, which President Cyril Ramaphosa attended, aimed to build a new contract between the North and the South to help address issues of climate change, development and debt.

Green hydrogen 

Cabinet further welcomed a joint declaration of intent to establish the South African-German Hydrogen Task Force, signed by Electricity Minister, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, and German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck. 

“The task force will look at how the green hydrogen market will be created and developed, as well as create business-to-business opportunities between the two countries. Green hydrogen is generated by renewable energy and it has significantly lower carbon emissions than traditional hydrogen.”

The state already has plans for a Hydrogen Valley, which is expected to run from Limpopo through Johannesburg to Durban. 

“The valley will establish opportunities for projects that will kick-start hydrogen initiatives in hubs to boost economic growth and job creation.” –