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The System Operator ensures that the stability of the national electricity grid is maintained at all times by balancing the supply of electricity (supply side) with the demand for electricity (demand side).  This is done by changing how much electricity is generated to match the amount of electricity being used by customers for every second of the day.  To do this, it is important to anticipate how much electricity will be used every hour (demand forecast) so that sufficient generation capacity can be made available to supply this electricity.  When there is a high demand for electricity and not enough supply of electricity, the System Operator starts up expensive diesel generators (OCGT) to balance the grid and keep it stable.

Over the past few years, generators that use renewable fuel sources such as wind and solar energy (renewables) have been generating electricity for South Africa.  Most of the electricity generated in South Africa, however, is still produced by burning fossil fuels that release pollutants (emissions).  These large, coal-fired generators need regular maintenance and experience breakdowns and this affects the amount of electricity that can be generated (outage performance).  As a last resort, to save the national electricity grid from complete collapse, the System Operator will reduce the customer demand for electricity by implementing loadshedding (manual load reduction) and maintain the supply and demand balance.​

Click on the links below to learn more. ​