Category Archives: DoE

Solar power to reach its zenith

Mail & Guardian, 16 January, 2015.

The installation of rooftop photovoltaic panels is on the rise, but South Africa is not as solar-friendly as it could be.

Eskom may be unable to avert an energy crisis, but South African households and businesses can generate power on their rooftops at a cost per kilowatt that rivals that of megaprojects such as Medupi or Kusile, without subsidies or incentives.

The cost of rooftop solar photovoltaic systems to power residential and commercial buildings has dropped over recent years to reach parity with domestic and commercial tariffs.

According to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), residential-sized photovoltaic systems are already a cost-competitive alternative to other new-build options, coming in at an estimated 81 cents a kilowatt hour (kWh) versus 80 cents at Medupi or Kusile. This solar power cost includes financing at an interest rate of 9%…

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Politics of power ignores reality

By 2030, South Africa’s new coal-powered stations Medupi and Kusile will be online and several nuclear power stations will feed into the grid. The country will have enough power and parents will tell their children stories about how they were conceived during something called “load shedding”.

During the 2008 energy crisis, the department of energy commissioned a plan for the next 20 years that would ensure the country had enough power. The document, called the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2010, was written at a time of crisis and called for a doubling of the national grid to 85 000MW. The plan was also based on ambitious economic growth rates. Read more on MG Online

DoE tests market for near-term power demand reduction offers

South Africa’s Department of Energy (DoE) has issued a formal appeal for companies and individuals to provide it with information on possible near-term solutions to reduce or shift electricity demand, as well as to immediately improve supply – the responses will guide the design of future procurement processes.

Government’s Independent Power Producer (IPP) Office released the request for information (RFI) in mid-December and responses need to be submitted by February 2.

The RFI documentation notes that demand response and/or distributed generation strategies are “critical” to improving the reserves needed by the system operator to better employ available generating capacity and to allow for higher levels of power-station maintenance. The anticipated daily shortfall, the RFI adds, is likely to be between 3 000 MW and 5 000 MW until additional generation capacity is introduced. Read more on Polity

Nuclear tender to follow talks with potential vendors

GOVERNMENT has made “significant progress” in engaging with prospective nuclear vendor countries, the Presidency said on Wednesday.

Intergovernmental framework agreements had been signed with Russia, France, China, South Korea and the US, marking the “initiation of the preparatory stage for the procurement process”, Presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

The government had now concluded a series of international vendor parades, which was “a significant milestone in the government pre-procurement phase for the roll out of the nuclear new build programme”. The government will now “design and launch a procurement process”, the Presidency said. Read more on BDLive

South Africa tenders for coal-fired power plants

South Africa asked on Friday for bidders to submit proposals to build coal-fired power plants as part of a string of initiatives launched this week aimed at ending chronic electricity shortages.

Bidders will need to pay a nonrefundable R200 000 rand ($17 000) fee when they submit proposals to build, operate and maintain the new coal plants, according to a tender notice posted in national newspapers.

The government will give the winners a power purchase agreement with struggling state utility Eskom.

South Africa has suffered its worst power shortages in six years this month due to creaking power plants and emergency maintenance. Eskom is facing a $20-billion funding shortfall over the next four years, forcing the government to consider selling state assets to bail out the utility.

The government announced on Thursday that it would launch a private sector-led coal-fired power plant programme by January 2015, which should add 2 500 MW of generation capacity to the grid.

It also said it would increase diesel and gas imports to fuel under-supplied plants and sign deals next week for renewable energy projects that would add an additional 1 000 MW.

Edited by: Reuters via Engineering News