Power generation is not a happy topic for most of the planet at the moment. China is in the throes of an energy crisis that has brought the giant to its knees in some provinces, shedding power to both industrial and household consumers.
As the world has reopened and demand for Chinese goods surges, with the government’s plans to decarbonise the country compounded by steep input price increases, many coal power producers are unwilling or unable to operate at capacity because of the state’s tight control over electricity prices, which has seen the country turn off large swathes of lights as the cold, winter season grabs hold of the region.
It doesn’t end there. Energy security is top of the agenda for many Asian countries, while Europe is enduring an energy crisis that presents a serious threat to the entire region. Gas prices have skyrocketed as the region simply did not have enough stockpiled, and shortages of coal have triggered power outages, with Reuters reporting that these have affected factories in industries supplying some of the world’s biggest brands, including Apple.
One of the concerns emanating from Europe is the weather. Forbes wrote recently: “Moreover, they lack sources of energy for low renewable periods like the “windless summer” of this past year in the UK. Low wind speeds and cloud cover are becoming more unpredictable as climate change progresses, and the lack of baseload generation has resulted in the current crisis”.
Back home, energy security is a long way off. Just this past week we have had to endure load shedding again. Poorly maintained infrastructure and vandalism have made the matter worse in some suburbs. Close to home, Northriding has endured prolonged outages and areas such as Bromhof routinely endure day-long outages when returning supply after load shedding breaks something else.
What does this all mean? It means that the golden era globally of seemingly endless power supply is no more. Of course, this is a huge geo-political challenge and will need to be solved through cooperation and investment on a global level. Closer to home, it means our utility will need to make good on its plans and promises. It means private industry will need to seriously consider making private embedded power solutions part of long-term sustainability plans. We no longer have the privilege of sitting back and saying the government must fix this. Those of us who can, will need to make plans to keep our businesses and households running.
Consumers, as much as it hurts, are increasingly going to need to build supply stopgaps into their homes and businesses such as uninterrupted power supply systems that include renewable sources such as solar. REVOV 2nd LiFe batteries are proving themselves repeatedly to be fit for purpose, able to handle tougher conditions, and – due to their longer life spans compared to alternatives such as lead acid – financially prudent investments.