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What is load shedding anyway? Energy analyst weighs in

Jun 16 2018 09:00
Khulekani Magubane

Cape Town – Energy analyst and expert Chris Yelland told Fin24 on Friday that Eskom’s "selective definition" of load shedding allowed the utility to get away with claiming that it had not implemented load shedding in years.

However, Yelland said, according to the broadest definition of load shedding, the utility had been effecting load shedding on a regular basis in one area or the other. Eskom announced stage one load shedding on Thursday evening.

READ: UPDATE: 'High risk' of load shedding likely over weekend

Yelland said what Eskom implemented on Thursday was manual rotating load shedding, which may have been implemented for the first time in years. However, he said South Africa had faced many other forms of load shedding regularly in that time.

"They indicated statements and retracted them, and now we have load shedding taking place. It’s important to distinguish [what] load shedding [is].

"Eskom can have their own definition, but the common definition is the switching off of customers and electricity load to protect the power system," said Yelland.

"There are different types of load shedding, but for Eskom to say that there has not been load shedding in the last two years is completely wrong. What Eskom calls load shedding is just one of many [types], which I call manual rotating load shedding. That has, until last night, come to an end for years," he said.

Yelland said other types included overload load shedding, which occurs due to overloading of a transformer and is aimed at protecting the system from overloading.

"This happens in municipal and Eskom system load shedding. You have over voltage load shedding, under voltage load shedding and ripple control load shedding, where geysers and other non-essential devices are switched off to reduce demand," he said.

electricity  |  eskom  |  load shedding


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