Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/28/2014 -- Late 2013 brought little joy to South Africa's power market. The main supplier, public utility Eskom, announced in November 2013 that the country was facing an emergency in terms of electricity provision - something that we had been warning for some time. Continual delays to the provision of new power stations and ageing infrastructure at existing ones have combined to create an ever-widening electricity gap. South Africa's over dependence upon coal as a source of power also limits Eskom's options further. Renewable energy is gaining popularity in the country, with the third auction held since 2011 gaining 93 bids - 17 of which were granted preferred bidder status - but while renewables will help increase electricity generating capacity, they will not solve South Africa's fundamental power problems. Without investment in new facilities, and comprehensive upgrades of existing ones, power outages are set to continue.
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In 2012, electricity generation in South Africa stood at 246.53 terawatt hours (TWh), representing a 1.32% increase on the previous year. Coal-fired sources of electricity accounted for nearly 95% of this figure, and we expect that coal will continue to play a major role in electricity production during the course of our forecast period, rising by a CAGR of 2.45% to stand at 295.93TWh in 2022. Economic growth - we forecast real GDP of around 3% every year during our 10-year forecast period to 2022 - and demographics will both drive demand upwards.
Developments in South Africa's power market this quarter include:
- In late October 2013, Eskom announced that two coal-fired power stations, Medupi and Kusile, would begin to contribute electricity to the grid in H214. Both power stations are currently six months behind schedule.
- Eskom warned in November 2013 that it would have to turn to emergency power blackouts across the country in an attempt to reduce pressure on the grid. Delays to new capacity are affecting the utility's ability to meet current demand.
- In November 2013, the Department of Energy announced the preferred bidders for the third renewable energy auction, with a reported 93 bid submissions. The positive outlook for the renewable energy sector contrasts with the delays in the expansion of thermal sources of power.
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