|Journal Article - South African Journal of Science
|The impact of the increasing residential battery backup systems on load shedding
The lack of energy security in South Africa has resulted in the occurrence of rolling blackouts for, as of 2023, 15 years. This is due to the unreliability of Eskom, the country’s main supplier of electricity to the grid, to prevent the energy crisis caused by a lack of supply from its fleet of coal-fuelled power stations. Some of the most fundamental factors that have led to the current state of electricity generation are the lack of investment in new generation capacity since 1998, a revenue shortfall from not having permittance for cost-reflective tariffs, a backlog of older Eskom plants, mismanagement, and operating at a higher-than-benchmarked energy utilisation factor. Because of the additional cost of solar supply and getting approval for it, many users may opt to install only battery backups and inverters. However, installing inverters without solar panels increases the load on Eskom, outside of loadshedding periods, as the batteries charge when power from the grid is restored. This counteracts the utility’s
(Eskom’s) attempt to manage the grid’s stability through the demand management technique of load shedding. In this Commentary, we explore the extent to which penetration of such solar-free backup solutions restricts Eskom’s ability to use load shedding to manage grid stability.
|South Africa - Domestic Electrical Load Metering, Hourly Data 1994-2014