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Deteriorating South Africa Energy Outlook Laid Bare in New Study

  • Action needed to prevent 10-fold rise in power cuts: Meridian
  • Government plans to add output have been dogged by delays
The city skyline at dusk in central Cape Town.

The city skyline at dusk in central Cape Town.

Photographer: Dwayne Senior/Bloomberg

South Africa’s record electricity cuts last year could rise 10-fold by 2026 unless the country rapidly adds generation capacity from renewable energy sources, complemented by battery storage and even diesel-powered plants, a study by Meridian Economics has found.

The bulk of the country’s energy is generated by state-owned Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., whose poorly maintained coal-burning plants have become increasingly unreliable, while government programs to secure more power from private producers have been dogged by delays. Last year, 2,521 gigawatt hours of power was taken off line, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research data show.