Cape Town - With South Africans experiencing Stage 6 load shedding this past week due to an “unlawful strike”, residents must know that this is not only a South African issue as many countries across the globe suffer from power outages.
Earlier this week, Eskom sent out communication that Stage 6 load shedding would be implemented as it conducted a routine planned maintenance while at the same time, employees were absent in protest over stalled wage negotiations.
“Due to the unlawful and unprotected labour action which has caused widespread disruption to Eskom’s power plants, Eskom is unable to return some generators to service.” the company said in a statement.
On Friday, the company added that it had replenished its emergency reserves sufficiently overnight and reduced load shedding to Stage 4. However, it plans to reinstate Stage 6 from 4pm so as to not deplete the reserves further.
Meanwhile, Japan is also facing a power crunch as the summer heat has raised the power demand in the country. The Japanese government warned of possible power shortages and urged people to conserve electricity during power-intensive hours.
“We would like to ask people to save electricity in a way that does not cause great inconvenience to them in the evenings when the power reserve ratio is low,” said Japan’s deputy chief Cabinet secretary, Yoshihiko Isozaki.
According to the South China Morning Post, the power shortage began after a March earthquake in Fukushima which took a number of power plants offline.
In Taiwan, massive power outages have affected millions of homes with widespread power failures hitting major cities across Taiwan following a reported accident at a power plant.
The BBC reported that the nation does occasionally experience power outages with 2017 being one of its most notable blackout which hit half of Taiwan.
In the US, The Washington Post reported that its power grid is under stress like never before, with major states such as California and Texas all too familiar with rolling outages.
“We've been issuing warnings about the grid for a number of years,” said chief executive of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association, Mark Denzler.
“But the swiftness with which this has happened has caught people by surprise. They didn't think we would be having these issues for a couple of years,” he said.
Global power grids face their biggest test in decades as energy markets have been dealt a series of very difficult events such as the pandemic, war, drought as well as production shortages.
Furthermore, more than one billion people are at risk from power outages from across Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India and Myanmar.