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Engineering News – 16 April 2015 Accelerate and expand

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has announced plans to accelerate and expand the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), reporting that she will be seeking the concurrence of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for an additional 6 300 MW of renewable energy. 

To date, South Africa has procured or is procuring, following four competitive bidding rounds, 5 243 MW from 79 mostly solar and wind projects, which represent a collective private investment into the country’s electricity sector of R168-billion. MORE INSIGHT More than 70 bids received for fourth renewables bid window Energy Minister to open African Energy Indaba These procurements have been pursued in line with the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and have been facilitated by Ministerial determinations for around 7 000 MW. Joemat-Pettersson indicated on Thursday that, owing to the competitive nature of the 77 bids received during the fourth REIPPPP bid window she would consider naming additional preferred bidders over and above the 13 selected on April 11. The 13 projects already identified were expected to reach financial close during the fourth quarter and should be operational by November 2016. The Minister had requested the IPP Office to deliver a “firm report” on an additional allocation of megawatts from round four by month end, so that an announcement could be made by the end of May 2015. In addition, a ‘Request for Further Proposals’ would be released by early June for a further 1 800 MW to be procured under an accelerated programme, with bidding open to unsuccessful bidders from all previous bid windows. However, the Department of Energy’s Ompi Aphane stresses that bidding will also be open to those that had not previously made a submission under the REIPPPP. Once those two mop-up processes were completed, the tender documentation would be redesigned ahead of a fifth bid submission phase, with the reworked request for proposals (RFP) documents expected to be ready for release in the second quarter of 2016. Key aspects of the RFP that will be redesigned included the definition of local community, the mechanisms to ensure early, efficient and equitable benefits to the communities and the local content or industrialisation regime. The new RFP would also take South Africa’s distribution and transmission system constraints into account – these constraints had been held up as being largely responsible for recent delays to the conclusion of bid windows three and four. In fact, Aphane confirmed that, had the process not been tightened in recent rounds, Eskom would have run a real risk of having to contract with plants whose power could not have been evacuated. He also revealed that there had been at least one case during the REIPPPP where this risk had actually become a reality. Joemat-Pettersson said the additional 6 300 MW determination was in line with the IRP 2010-2030 and that the allocation would “maintain the momentum of the programme, especially for future bid-submission phases”. The Minister also said that the ‘Small Projects Programme’, which would seek to procure 50 MW from facilities ranging between 1 MW and 5 MW in size, was also under way, with 29 bids having been received totalling 139 MW. The evaluation of bids would be finalised during April. FAR-REACHING DEVELOPMENT The South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea) described Joemat-Pettersson’s announcement as “far-reaching”, while the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (Sapvia) said the announcement would “help regain the momentum” of the REIPPPP. Sawea CEO Johan van den Berg arguing that the new allocation could mean that an additional 2 500 to 3 000 MW of wind power would be procured over the coming four years. “This, once Gazetted, should give comfort to international investors to invest in local factories that can push the local content of wind farms to about 54%, with the upper 60’s in reach. Moreover, the money being put into local community development around wind farms will rise from the present R5-billion over the next 20 years, to at least R10-billion and perhaps much more.” Van den Berg also added that prices for wind power in round four were understood to have fallen to an average of 62c/kWh, which is a market improvement on the prices of over R1/MW achieved during the first bid window. “Renewable energy is coming just at the right time. There is a lot of it ready to be built immediately. Government is recognising this and has now communicated a vision that, given the volatility in our sector, is remarkable for its courage and perspicacity," Van den Berg concluded. Sapvia added that, the proven ability to deliver projects on time and on budget provided the basis for its belief that the solar photovoltaic (PV) sector, in conjunction with other renewables technology, stood ready to bring additional generation capacity as part of the government’s five-point plan to address the current electricity shortages. “Solar PV alone can provide additional capacity of at least 2 000 MW a year over the next five years,” the association said in a statement. It also welcomed the proposed Ministerial determination to raise the renewables allocation to 6 300 MW, as well as awarding at least 1 000 MW of additional capacity from bid-window four. Sapvia also backed the announcement that 1 800 MW would be allocated for the procurement of projects from various renewable-energy sources that participated in bid windows one to four.

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China and Africa harvest the wind for power

Emerging economies installed the most wind-generated power in 2014, giving them the lead in an area in which investment lagged in developed economies.

Developing nations contributed significantly to a record year for newly installed wind power and, of the 51 gigawatts (GW) installed in 2014, emerging markets accounted for 30GW, or 60%, according to the 10th annual Global Wind Report released by the Global Wind Energy Council in Istanbul on April 1.

The surge was largely bolstered by 23GW of new power installed in China, which in itself is a new record and more than what the runners-up, Europe and North America, together installed last year. Investments in the global wind sector rose 11% to $99.5-billion during the year, also a record. Only 35.6GW of wind energy was installed in 2013, a sharp downturn from an installed 45GW in 2012.

South Africa installed 560 megawatts (MW), the most in Africa and the Middle East, which the council described as “the big news story” for wind for 2014. The country had installed just 10MW by the end of 2013 and is now considered one of the leading wind power markets.

Helped by projects in South Africa, Morocco and Egypt, more than 934MW of new wind power was introduced to Africa this year.

“2014 was a milestone year for the African market, as almost a gigawatt of new capacity came online,” the report said. “Africa is likely to emerge as a new hot spot for wind energy development, with new projects in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco, Ethiopia and Mauritius coming on line.”

Global generation

Latin America and the Caribbean had a good year, too, with 3 749MW of new capacity. It was led by Brazil, which alone accounted for 2 437MW and is now ranked 10th in the world in terms of cumulative installed wind power.

Wind power also grew in Turkey, which installed 804MW last year, to reach a total of 3 762MW. India contributed 2 315MW to the global total.

But this is not the first year the developing world – led by Asia, the world’s largest regional wind energy market for the past seven years – has been the frontrunner in new wind power.

“In 2014, as in 2013, the majority of wind installations globally were outside the OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] once again. This was also the case in 2010 and 2011, and is likely to continue to be so for the foreseeable future,” the report noted.

More than 80 countries now generate wind energy, 24 of which have more than 1 000MW of capacity installed and 11 with more than 5 000MW, according to the report.

Uncertain market growth

However, “at the end of 2013, the expectations for wind power market growth were uncertain, as continued economic slowdown in Europe and political uncertainty in the US made it difficult to make projections for 2014, which we called at just over 47GW, not anticipating the dramatic growth in the Chinese market.”

Wind power generation accounted for 2.78% of China’s total electricity generation in 2014 and the nation aims to nearly double it to 200GW by the end of 2020.

But the ambitions of developed countries for wind energy are less clear.

Germany set a new record, installing nearly 5 300MW, which is the first time that any country other than China or the US has installed more than 5 000MW in a single year. This, and with the installation of more that 1 000MW in Britain, France and Sweden, helped to shore up the European figures, despite disappointing numbers from many other European countries.

Together these four countries account for more than three quarters of all installations, the report said.

EU consumption

Although by the end of 2014, grid-connected wind power was enough to cover 10.2% of the European Union’s electricity consumption, weakened legislative frameworks, economic crises and austerity measures are hitting the wind industry hard. “The year ahead will be tough, and the long-term prospects for the wind industry are closely linked to the outcome of the debate over the EU’s 2030 targets for climate and energy,” the report said.

“In early February this year, the European Commission’s Energy Union proposal was made to establish post-2020 legislation for renewables. The plan is to put forward a renewable energy package, possibly sometime next year.”

Meanwhile, after China, the US is the second largest market in terms of total installed capacity but remains the hardest market to call, the council said.

“2014 saw the US market rise with new installations of 4 854MW, bringing the total installed capacity to 65GW … Wind energy accounted for almost 31% of all new generating capacity installed over the last five years … (and) by the end of 2014, more than 12 700MW of wind capacity was under construction across 98 projects in 23 states,” according to the report.

However, the council said, uncertain federal policies in the US continued to inflict a “boom-bust” cycle on the country’s wind industry.

“With a strong pipeline of projects under construction under the existing incentive arrangements, 2015 and 2016 are likely to be good years. But what happens after that? 

“It remains the case that energy (and climate) are ideologically charged political issues in Washington, and it’s difficult to see how the current administration and Congress can work together to come up with much in the short term to fill the looming policy gap.”

Australian politics

In Australia, the report said, investments in large-scale wind, solar and other clean energy sources dropped 88% in 2014. This was a result of Australia’s new coalition government, led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, which came into power in 2013 and does not support renewable energy. This has caused significant damage to the industry.

“But given the dramatic progress of both wind and solar in Australia, we expect that to be short-lived, although it will no doubt depress market figures for the next few years in the Pacific region,” the council said.

The two big issues as far as wind energy is concerned continue to be the drop in the price of oil – which halved last year and remains low – and growing concerns about climate change, leading up to the COP21 summit in Paris at the end of 2015.

“It’s often suggested that the lower oil prices will have an effect on the wind sector, but there’s no evidence of that yet.

“By and large, we don’t compete with oil, and the price of gas is no longer tied to the price of oil as closely as it once was,” the council said in its report.

“But price, speed of deployment and fighting local air pollution have been the main drivers in most of the major growth markets this year. As for 2015, we’re projecting another 50-plus GW year, and continued growth from there.”

Market dominance

For Africa, the council says it’s going to be a contest between Egypt and South Africa for dominance of the continent’s wind energy market. With contributions from other African nations, the council projects there will a total installation of slightly more than 13GW in the region through to 2019.

“South Africa’s emergence in 2014 is the ‘take-off’ after an extremely long countdown. Despite the political instability in the country, the electricity situation is dire, and they need the power,” the report said.

“The industry in South Africa is in a very rapid growth phase. The country’s chronic energy shortages mean that the renewable energy procurement programme is likely to be expanded …

“South Africa is evolving into the hub for manufacturing and development that the industry has been looking forward to for many years.”

The South African wind industry wants to develop about 5GW by 2019.

The cost of wind power has grown increasingly competitive with that generated by coal-fired power stations in South Africa, the report said. The average selling price of electricity is about 63c a kilowatt/hour, and wind power is being procured for about 65c/kWh.

New coal-based power is likely to cost R1.05/kWh, if it is not cross-subsidised from existing plants.

Eskom gets R4bn loan from KfW to upgrade grid

PUBLISHED 08 APRIL 2015
BY: REUTERS

 

South African utility Eskom Holdings has received a R4-billion ($339-million) loan from KfW to help modernise its power grid, Germany's State-controlled development bank said on Wednesday.

The loan will be used to connect solar and wind power plants to Eskom's power network and help to secure supply in a country that has been beset with almost daily power outages, KfW said.

"The adjustment of the energy supply is a big step for South Africa away from dependency on coal towards a more sustainable electricity generation," Norbert Kloppenburg, a management board member at KfW, said in a statement.

Eskom has implemented rolling blackouts over the past year, disrupting business and annoying residents, as its grid struggles to meet growing demand.

Integrating more renewable sources of energy into the grid will also help reduce South Africa's CO2 emissions by up to 5.5-million tonnes a year, KfW said.

 

Duane Daws

Rolling blackouts, renewable energy and lessons learned

http://finweek.com/2015/03/31/news-rolling-blackouts-renewable-energy-and-lessons-learned/
In early 2008 South African society was shocked into the reality of inadequate power reserve margins required by Eskom in order to consistently keep the lights on. Suddenly new terms such as “load shedding” and..

 

In early 2008 South African society was shocked into the reality of inadequate power reserve margins required by Eskom in order to consistently keep the lights on. Suddenly new terms such as “load shedding” and “rolling blackouts” were introduced to our daily language.

There was a rush to buy private power generators and increasingly there was chaos on the roads and early shop closures as power was unexpectedly switched off around the country. Productivity losses cost the fiscus billions of rands of lost revenue and the mining industry in particular was hit hard hit by power cuts.

However the crisis has been in the making for the past 30 to 40 years since the early 1970s when the government of the day commenced the roll out of a massive power investment programme within Eskom. Demand growth was overestimated and the construction of new coal fired stations resulted in an over capacity of power generation over the following 20 years.

As the cost of this investment was paid off, it culminated in South Africa enjoying the cheapest electricity prices in the world. However with virtually no new investment in new and replacement power generation over the next 20 years, the country was lulled into a false sense of security and a complacency around pursuing further investment. In 2004 the power reserve margins dropped sharply as economic growth accelerated and in 2008 the country suddenly realised that cheap and reliable electricity was a luxury of the past.

Post 1994, the Department of Energy (DOE) was mandated to take over Eskom’s exclusive role to produce and manage a power plan for the country. In 2010 the DOE promulgated an integrated resource plan (IRP) which envisaged the doubling of power generation in South Africa by 2030 and significantly this included a 42% allocation of the new build to renewable power (18000 MW), the rest comprising coal, nuclear, gas and diesel fired power generation. This was followed by the launch of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme in 2011, the biggest single public private partnership (PPP) initiative in South Africa to date.

The DOE sought the assistance of National Treasury’s PPP Unit to set up a small and dedicated technical team, most of whom had vast PPP experience, to manage the roll out of the REIPPP programme. From the outset this was a successful arrangement for a number of reasons:

  • The team operated outside the formal departmental structure of national government and thus was not hamstrung by onerous policies and procedures.
  • There was significant project development experience in the team including individuals who had drafted the rigorous PPP appraisal framework whilst working in National Treasury.
  • An open door policy with the private sector was vital to facilitate dialogue with the professionals behind the projects and ensured there was clarity around key design and implementation issues.
  • The renewable energy team ensured the maintenance of high standards throughout the process, particularly in respect of meeting deadlines and clarifying expectations by both the government and the private sector.

This enhanced the credibility of the programme in the market’s eyes and was a departure from the distrust of government by the market that was evident in previous private public partnerships in infrastructure during the past. The REIPPP program is now widely recognised to be in the top ten infrastructure investment programmes in the world over the past three years.

There are a number of lessons learned in the REIPPP programme that can be transferred to other private public partnership investment initiatives by government in future as follows:

  • Maintain a business-friendly approach to the investment industry in order to build confidence in the sustainability of the programme through dialogue and a high level of trust by the investors.
  • Take advantage of available private sector funding and use it to gear up donor and development finance investment money
  • Make a case for renewable energy (or the relevant infrastructure investment thesis) and keep making it. Constant lobbying of government by the renewable energy team has ensured ongoing government support for the programme.
  • Find a programme champion within the team with good experience and credibility in the eyes of both the private sector and government to ensure that there is sustained momentum behind the programme and that it remains goal directed and productive

This will attract investment into the country by the international community and should be high on the agenda of government. It should ensure a win win scenario in respect of the massive need for infrastructure investment and the no less amount of international investment money that is seeking deployment into emerging market economies such as ours.

– Paul Semple: Portfolio Manager

The role of renewable energy in South Africa’s energy mix

Power utility Eskom has implemented regular power cuts this year to prevent the national grid being overwhelmed, as South Africa faces its worst energy crisis in decades, Public Enterprise MinisterLynne Brown said earlier this week, adding that power outages cost the country between $1.7-billion and $6.8-billion a month.

Lynne Brown
Photo: Duane Daws

Lynne Brown

 
 

The solution to the energy crisis might be at home, as the country’s Renewable Energy IndependentPower Producer Procurement Programme was considered successful and combined the benefits of an auction-style programme with sufficient criteria to provide assurance that the projects were viable.

 

The combination of an excellent wind and solar resource, vast land availability, the country’s strong manufacturing capacity and an increasing commitment to renewable deployment from the government and financing institutions, made for an encouraging picture in the country. Concentrated solar power (CSP), in particular, stood out.

 

South Africa’s daily electricity demand has two peaks, one in the morning and another, more pronounced one, during the evening. This characteristic made CSP with storage the most suitable alternative among all renewable-energy sources for generating electricity to supply the evening peak demand.

 

Factors, such as the increasing energy demand, high electricity prices and limited proven oil reserves should hasten the implementation of CSP at a wider scale.

 

Despite the delays in the Department of Energy’s announcement schedule and other challenges, the South African market continued to generate great interest among international developers and financing institutions, which would meet at the CSP Today South Africa conference, in Cape Town, on April 15.

 

For more information, visit http://goo.gl/kyqnuU

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn

Multibillion-rand renewable-energy boost for EC

The East London industrial development zone (IDZ) will develop a wind farm that will generate in excess of three-million kilowatt-hours a year of electricity, Eastern Cape Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC Sakhumzi Somyo announced on Wednesday.

He said the IDZ, which was working with a local wind turbine manufacturer, would save R98-million in electricity costs over 20 years and would strengthen energy security for industries based at the IDZ.

The Eastern Cape had a sizeable renewable-energy footprint with independent power producers (IPPs) having secured licences for 12 wind farms and one solar farm.

Somyo pointed out that, not only did renewable energy provide security of supply for the province, but IPPs would invest R1.6-billion in enterprise and social development programmes, which would benefit local communities over the 20-year life of the projects.

Local content for these projects, which was to be procured from within the province, was projected at R7.5-billion and would stimulate the development of localised industries and the green economy, said Somyo.

He further noted that the R3.5-billion Dedisa peaking power plant at the Coega IDZ would come on line later this year. The plant would generate 342 MW of electricity through its open-cycle gas turbines.

Somyo added that the agroprocessing and ocean economy sectors were also expected to contribute to economic growth and job creation in the province.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn

New study forecasts doubling of renewables capacity by 2025

The global installed capacity of renewable energy could more than double to 3 203 GW in 2025 from 1 566 GW in 2012, new analysis by Frost & Sullivan shows.

The study, titled ‘Annual Renewable Energy Outlook 2014’, anticipates an average yearly growth rate of 5.7% and for solar photovoltaic (PV) technology to account for 33.4% of total renewable-energy capacity additions over the period.

Wind is expected to follow with 32.7% of new capacity additions, ahead of hydropower at 25.3%, while other renewable technologies will represent the remaining 8.6%.

Industry director Harald Thaler also expects emerging economies to play a larger role, as the weak economic climate in Western Europe affects support schemes.

More than 130 countries currently have supportive policies in place for renewables, which has translated into a dramatic rise in renewables investment in recent years.

In addition, a decline in the cost of renewable energy, as a result of technological innovation and economies of scale, has also enabled developing countries to adopt these technologies.

The cost of solar PV modules, for instance, have dropped by about 70% between 2008 and 2013, making solar more competitive with fossil-fired power and driving accelerated adoption rates.

Renewable-energy installations in 2013 saw the continued, gradual shift in market power to emerging economies, where economic growth and revised energy priorities will drive a sustained increase in the adoption of renewable energy,” Thaler says.

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter

Greenpeace ship returns to SA, highlights solutions to electricity crisis

Greenpeace’s iconic ship, the Rainbow Warrior, has arrived in Cape Town for a month long tour of the South African coastline, as part of a Greenpeace campaign to highlight its conviction that renewable-energy investments are the solution to the current electricity crisis.

The environment-friendly ship will dock at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront from February 9 to 16.

Greenpeace Africa executive director Michael O’Brien Onyeka said welcoming the Rainbow Warrior to South Africa at a time when the country was threatened by stage 3 load shedding was really important for Greenpeace Africa.

“The country is in crisis, and it is clear that the solution to load shedding is not more investments in coal and nuclear, but [rather] in removing the barriers to renewable energy.

“The ship will be used to highlight how renewable energy puts power back into people’s hands, and is already delivering on time and on budget,” he said.

The new Rainbow Warrior is one of the most environment-friendly ships built to date and is at the cutting edge of clean technology. She replaces the Rainbow Warrior II, which retired on August 16, 2011, after "22 tireless years at the campaigning frontline" and the original Rainbow Warrior, which was bombed in 1985.

The original Rainbow Warrior is best known for helping to end nuclear testing in the Pacific, blocking coal ports and closing down destructive fishing operations.

Greenpeace Africa campaigns for a just transition away from coal and nuclear energy and towards a clean energy future based on renewable energy in South Africa,” said O’Brien Onyeka

“The return of the Rainbow Warrior is a true honour for Africa, and we are confident that this visit will empower Greenpeace Africa with the tireless spirit of the global organisation that is required to win major campaigns and build on the successes achieved so far on the continent,” he added.

“The Rainbow Warrior is an important campaign tool for Greenpeace globally, in order to expose environmental crimes and advocate for solutions for the many citizens that are suffering from environmental injustices. Having the Rainbow Warrior here today is a reminder to our leaders on the continent, that the time to act is now.

“We cannot, and we should not, destroy our legacy to our children,” said O’Brien Onyeka.

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter

“Zero cost” renewables the shortest term supply solution to ease energy crisis

Dear members

Please find below a media release that the South African Renewable Energy Council (SAREC) issued.

28 January 2015

“ZERO COST” RENEWABLES THE SHORTEST TERM SUPPLY SOLUTION TO EASE ENERGY CRISIS

The South African Renewable Energy Council welcomes the conclusions of a recent CSIR report showing that the net cost of South Africa’s renewable energy in 2014 was less than zero and reiterates that the industry is willing, ready and able to do much more to ease the country’s electricity shortage, now predicted to lead to load shedding for the next 3 – 5 years.

The Council points out that the value of renewable energy in a constrained electricity system is clear and has previously been pointed out by The University of Stellenbosch Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (http://www.crses.sun.ac.za).

The CSIR report “Financial benefits of renewables in South Africa in 2014”, released on 21 January 2015, demonstrates that the 1,600 MW of renewable energy installed by December 2014 has saved the country ZAR 5.3 billion in diesel, coal and avoided load shedding while costing the country only ZAR 4.5 billion in tariffs.

“The results of this study truly underline the economic value of renewable energy to the South African electricity consumer”, said Mike Levington, board member of SAREC who has been participating in recent discussions between government and business. “While Round 3 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (“REIPPPP”) has seen the prices for electricity from the major renewable technologies generally fall well below the likely cost for new Eskom power, the constrained grid and the very high costs for diesel/load shedding have meant that renewables built under Round 1 saved the country more in 2014 than they cost.”

The CSIR report noted that the country was saved ZAR 3.7 billion in diesel and coal fuel costs and a further ZAR 1.6 billion through the avoidance of 120 hours of load shedding.  Government’s far-sightedness in establishing REIPPPPP in 2011 is now yielding dividends in making a measureable contribution to easing Eskom supply problems and will contribute even more as the plants presently under construction come online on a continuous basis through 2015 and beyond. Moreover, it is expected that the preferred bidders for Round 4 will be announced soon, potentially putting another 1,100 MW of renewable energy into the pipeline to produce electricity. The CSIR report was done on conservative assumptions and did not factor in the job creation and socio-economic benefits of the REIPPPP programme, with more than ZAR 11 billion already pledged by the industry for investment into rural communities over the next twenty years.

Professor Wikus van Niekerk of Stellenbosch University is unequivocal in his response: “We are electricity constrained as a country and using far more peaking power for mid-merit generation than we should”, he asserted. “Renewable Energy, particularly wind and PV, are “fuel-savers” and could therefore make a significant contribution at this time, saving Eskom and the country money. There are however a number of barriers to particular for roof PV projects put in place by Eskom that need to be addressed to allow even Eskom-subsidised projects to connect to the grid.   A reasonable feed-in tariff for rooftop PV – lower than at the Eskom generation cost at Medupi and Kusile – could facilitate a number of roof to PV project to come online, still in this year.”

Pancho Ndebele, also of the SAREC Board, stresses that renewable energy is the most feasible supply option that can be deployed at scale within the timeframe of the severe electricity crunch. “A total of 6,000 MW of renewable energy projects were bid in Round 4 of REIPPPP”, he stressed. “These are projects that have done all feasibilities, received environmental and all other regulatory approvals and have been assessed by lending institutions as being financially sound. They are ready for implementation and will be funded by private capital at very affordable rates. Importantly, a number of these projects can be constructed and connected to the grid in a 14-24 months’ time frame. In light of the load shedding and fuel savings demonstrated in the CSIR study, these projects can take considerable pressure off diesel purchases and load shedding schedules. Other supply options, when large, tend to be ten or more years away, and if smaller tend to be still more than five years away. Renewable energy is a viable part of the solution to the present supply crisis. With about ZAR 1 billion per month being spent on diesel and load shedding costing the country ZAR 87/kWh, we should aggressively increase our renewables ambition.”

Carryn Bateman, who represents SESSA on the SAREC Board, adds that the present crisis is one to which SESSA members have a lot to contribute. “Rooftop Solar PV is perhaps the fastest supply side solution available”, she points out. “And it can be done at significant scale close to where the electricity is needed“. Her colleague James Green, who heads SESSA’s solar water heater division, agreed and said that solar water heaters had the potential to significantly alleviate the electricity crisis. “We can install about 50,000 high pressure units before year end”, he predicted, “saving the country a usage of 8 kW daily in each case, and also removing all peak from those electric geysers going solar. This a fast track for getting both GWh and peak off the grid, with payback to consumers in less than 5 years.

Proponents of wind energy are equally enthused. Mark Tanton, SAREC Board member representing SAWEA, stressed that for wind, 0.6 GW of wind installed saved the system real cash on a net basis, because the pure fuel savings value of wind was 0.23 R/kWh higher than the cost of the wind power produced. “If avoided load shedding is added, the value of wind power to the country is even more compelling”, he asserted.

Notes to Editors:

For more detail about SAREC, see www.sarec.org.za
For interview requests and more detail, call Marilize Stoltz at +27 (0) 11 214 0660
For the full CSIR media release, see http://ntww1.csir.co.za/plsql/ptl0002/PTL0002_PGE157_MEDIA_REL?MEDIA_RELEASE_NO=7526622