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Desperate to be a CEO? Here’s the worst job in global energy

By Javier Blas

23 Jan 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

The number of people without access to electricity rose in 2023. Bloomberg reports on South African utility Eskom, their failure to provide electricity, debts and search for a new CEO.

The last year when the lights stayed on every day in South Africa was 2017. But the continent's most industrialized economy is now facing the worst blackouts ever, leaving most of its citizens without electricity for six-to-eight hours every day. There's no end in sight. If anything, the country may lose power for as long as half a day during the southern hemisphere winter, from June to August.

The problem in South Africa has many idiosyncratic elements - and we'll get to those in a moment - but offers a wider lesson to emerging nations. Electricity demand is fast increasing, and investment in generation facilities - particularly wind and solar - and transmission grids isn't keeping up.

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