When 6 September rolled in, there had been 19 974 gigawatt hours of load shedding in 2023 – more than 2015, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 combined. That’s quite an achievement for the utility, despite the repetitive platitudes and assurances by government that we would soon see the back of regular power cuts. Sadly, we won’t. What we might see the back – or at least the side – of in the future, however, is the oil and gas industry as the world shifts towards greener forms of energy generation.
In this issue, we explore the complicated implications including the possibility that resource-rich nations extract as much as possible, as quickly as possible. That shift will happen most notably in the transport sector, and South Africa needs to plan carefully to avoid being left behind. A new partnership between the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the Automotive Industry Development Centre may help with this. Solar isn’t the only green energy possibility, with many touting our windy coastline as holding great potential for offshore wind development. But can we afford it? Of course, there’s no point in generating green kilowatts if the grid infrastructure can’t handle them, so modernisation and digitalisation of the grid is essential, as is supportive policy and legislation to enable a sustainable transition.
Despite these efforts, there’s no escaping load shedding, with new, terrifyingly numbered stages being published, with major implications for you and your business. There’s also a look at funding models, new and improved energy standards, solar panel security, foreign investment, the role of energy conferences and more. Just be sure to read it all before the lights go out again.