Statistics of utility-scale power generation in South Africa in 2021

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has released its annual statistics on power generation in South Africa for the year 2021. Highlights include the increased contribution of renewable energy technologies to the total energy mix, and loadshedding in 2021 overtaking 2020 as the most intensive year of loadshedding to date. The 2021 statistics include all utility-scale generation technologies in the analysis. Technologies include coal, nuclear, hydro, solar photovoltaics (PV), wind, concentrated solar power (CSP), pumped storage and diesel-fuelled open cycle gas turbines. The statistics for 1 January to 31 December 2021 have been published. In 2021, the total system demand increased by 6.5 terawatt hours (TWh), a 3% increase compared to the 2020 total system demand. The 2021 total system demand is, however, still lower by 5.3 TWh, a 2% decrease when compared to 2019, pre-lockdown. Coal still dominates the South African energy mix, providing 81.4% of the total system load. The contribution of renewable energy technologies (wind, solar PV and CSP) increased in 2021 to a total of 5.7 GW installed capacity and provided 6.6% of the total energy mix.