Abstract for: COVID-19 Impacts on Energy Availability in an Electricity Utility

The COVID-19 outbreak resulted in an exacerbation of existing poverty levels and unemployment in South Africa. Various industries have undertaken studies to determine the impact of the virus on their financial sustainability. This study focused on the impact of the virus on national electricity generation, if human resources were affected. A system dynamics methodology was used to build a simulation model for scenario analysis. Based on various structural model configurations; for the purposes of understanding the time lags between the infections, critical cases, recoveries and mortality, the qualitative system dynamics model was sufficient. This did not however, provide the quantitative results that could be used for future trending. Using an approach based on logistic equations provided a more quantitative analysis of the distribution of infections and deaths in the various age groups within the provinces. If the national provincial rates (infection, recovery and mortality) had been used for determining the provincial distribution of infections within the organisation, the results would have been misaligned. Model results indicated that the impact of mortality had a much more significant effect on the Energy Availability Factor (EAF), than a loss in productivity when employees were sick due to the COVID-19 virus.