Category Archives: Renewables

Solar, Hydro, Wind

Nersa may probe whether Eskom’s refusal to sign renewables PPAs contravened licence

Engineering NEws, 11 May, 2017

he electricity subcommittee of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) will recommend that the Energy Regulator institute a formal investigation into a complaint that Eskom was flouting the conditions of its licence by refusing to conclude power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 37 renewable-energyprojects procured by the Department of Energy.

Spokesperson Charles Hlebela said the next meeting of the Energy Regulator would take place on May 25, and confirmed that, at its meeting on May 3, Nersa’s electricity subcommittee had endorsed the probe, following a preliminary investigation. Should it proceed, the subcommittee wants Mbulelo Ncetezo, the regulator member responsible for electricity, to chair the probe.

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CSIR proposes electricity mix for IRP 2016 which excludes nuclear power

Daily Maverick, Jarrad G. Wright, Tobias Bischof-Niemz, Joanne Calitz, Crescent Mushwana, Robbie van Heerden and Mamahloko Senatla, CSIR, 2 May, 2017

As part of the IRP update process, the DoE engages in a multi-stage stakeholder engagement process (including public engagements) to ensure all affected stakeholders are consulted including national and local government, business, organised labour and civil society. This document contains the CSIR’s formal comments on the draft IRP 2016.

The CSIR determined the least cost, unconstrained electricity mix by 2050 as input into the IRP 2016 public consultation process. A conservative approach is always taken where pessimistic assumptions for new technologies and optimistic assumptions for established technologies are always made. More specifically; conventional technologies (coal, nuclear, gas Capex) were as per IRP 2016, stationary storage technologies (batteries) were as per IRP 2016, natural gas fuel costs were assumed slightly more expensive than IRP 2016, solar PV was aligned with original IRP 2010 cost assumptions while wind is kept constant into the future at the latest South African REIPPPP result (by 2030/2040/2050). Job numbers were also conservative (from McKinsey study commissioned by the DoE in the context of the Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) but adjusting upwards for coal power generation
and coal mining.

(Ed. note: The CSIR uses the same energy modeling software – Plexos – as is used by the DOE and Eskom)

The result of this is that it is least cost for any new investment in the power sector to be solar PV, wind or flexible power. Solar PV, wind and flexible power generators (eg gas, CSP, hydro, biogas) are the cheapest new-build mix. There is no technical limitation to solar PV and wind penetration over the planning horizon until 2050. A >70% renewable energy share by 2050 is cost optimal, replacing all plants that decommission over time and meeting new demand with the new optimal mix.

(Ed. note: The CSIR modeling does not exclude any specific technology, meaning that nuclear was not chosen by the model because it was too expensive and was unnecessary)

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Western Power Corridor pact can be revived, says Reuel Khoza

Business Day Live, 21 February, 2017

The Africa Energy Indaba hears Inga 3 hydropower project and associated infrastructure development is possible with political vision and will

The Western Power Corridor could still be revived with committed political leadership, Reuel Khoza said on Monday.

The corridor was a cooperative agreement among five Southern African countries established in 2003 to develop the Inga 3 hydropower project and associated infrastructure.

Khoza, a former Eskom chairman, is now involved in renewable power projects.

One of the speakers on a ministerial panel on increasing regional energy trade and co-operation at the Africa Energy Indaba starting on Tuesday, he is chairman of Aka Capital and independent power producer Globeleq as well as the author of several books on governance and leadership.

The corridor involved SA, Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Namibia, each of which was represented equally by its utilities in Westcor, a joint venture company. Westcor conducted feasibility studies into Inga 3, which would have provided about 5,000MG of power. Westcor also aimed to develop the 45,000MW Grand Inga project.

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Eskom renewables impasse over

BusinessDay, 13 February, 2017.

Eskom caused alarm in the sector in July 2016 when it said it would not sign on any more IPPs to the grid because of concerns about affordability

The deadlock between Eskom and independent power producers (IPPs) appears to have broken, with several IPPs having received budget quotes from the power utility indicating what the cost will be of connecting them to the grid.

(EG-SA Ed. note: Great news!
Now Eskom must be made to compensate the IPPs who suffered losses because of the unnecessary delays to financial closure.
Also Lynne Brown representing the DPE (sole shareholder of Eskom), must be held responsible for the cost of the delays and the damage to the renewable energy industry, and Koko must go before he does further damage.)

The quotes preceded President Jacob Zuma’s undertaking in his state of the nation address that Eskom would sign the outstanding power purchase agreements for renewable energy in line with the procured rounds. Eskom caused alarm in the sector in July 2016 when it said it would not sign on any more IPPs to the grid because of concerns about affordability.

On Friday, South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) chairwoman Brenda Martin said she had been informed about the budget quotes sent out.

She had also learnt that Eskom had approached the IPP office in the Department of Energy to set dates for the signing of power purchase agreements with the producers.

“So it does look as if things are moving,” she said.

Martin said the budget quotes had been sent to IPPs regardless of the agreed tariff at which they would sell electricity to Eskom. This is despite Eskom’s insistence it would sign them up only to a price of 62c/kWh.

A total of 21 of the 37 IPPs with outstanding power purchase agreements received budget quotes. This included the 10 small bid winners announced two weeks ago. Martin said Sarec’s remaining concern was that all the bidders get their budget quotes confirmed.

On Friday, Eskom spokesman Khulu Phasiwe said 2,383MW of renewable power purchase agreements — about 37 — remained to be signed. To date, Eskom had signed 64 agreements for 4,000MW and two for open-cycle turbines for more than 1,000MW.

Phasiwe said the unsigned agreements had been approved by the investment and finance committee of the Eskom board and by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown. The National Energy Regulator of SA had provided the necessary assurances for cost recovery of the power purchase agreements.

Mitochondria Energy chairman Sisa Njikelana was optimistic about the deadlock being broken. Hulisani executive director Marubini Raphulu said Zuma’s comments indicated the impasse had been resolved.

“Eskom’s primary objective has always been to deliver reliable energy supply at the least cost to the consumer,” Phasiwe said. “Eskom’s position is that all energy sources, be they nuclear or renewables, should be pursued at a pace and scale that the country can afford.”

Here is the link to the article

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and renewable energy

Bishop Geoff Davies, in the Daily Maverick, 9 February, 2017.

So-called developed countries are doing their best to move away from both coal and nuclear energy, with huge investment in developing renewable energy. South Africa, we had hoped, would have become a manufacturing hub for renewable energy in Africa.

“We mustn’t listen to those who say we must only use renewable energy,” said aspiring president Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at a church gathering this past weekend. No developed country uses only renewable energy, there must be a mix, she said.

It is highly unfortunate that our political leaders are so poorly informed about energy developments – or are they so well informed about the financial benefits to be gained through the procurement of nuclear energy that they support nuclear energy at all costs?

There are such dramatic developments taking place in electricity storage, and equally dramatic reduction in costs, that long before a nuclear power station could be built, renewable energy will be far cheaper, safer and more accessible to the people of South Africa than nuclear-generated electricity delivered through a centralised grid could ever be.

 

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