Category Archives: Wind

Wind and solar become new “base load” power for South Australia

Australia Energy Week, 16 May, 2016.

This article outlines precisely how/why we don’t need baseload power and increasing amounts of variable renewable energy can be integrated into the grid without creating reliability issues or increasing costs.

Wind and solar become new “base load” power for South Australia

By Giles Parkinson

It has only been a week since the closure of South Australia’s last coal-fired generator, but already a new pattern is emerging that points the way to a new energy system, away from “baseload” built around coal, gas or nuclear, to a new system built around wind and solar and other renewables.

This graph – provided by Dylan McConnell from the Melbourne Energy Institute, shows he first week of production since the closure of the Northern brown coal generator on May 10.

It shows wind energy provided the vast majority of power over the past seven days, supplemented by some rooftop solar, and by peaking and combined cycle gas plants.

This is expected to be the pattern of the future, as energy systems with high renewable energy penetration rely first on variable energy providers such as wind and solar, and then on “flexible” or “dispatchable” energy from the likes of gas, but ultimately hydro, solar towers with storage, and emerging technologies such as geothermal and ocean energy and battery and other energy storage.

Read the full article (very interesting!) here:

Did Tesla Just Kill Nuclear Power?

Jeff McMahon, Forbes, 1 May 2015.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk was about to announce an industrial-scale battery, Gundersen said, that would cost about 2¢ per kilowatt hour to use, putting the final nail in the coffin of nuclear power.

Solar power costs six to seven cents, he said, and wind costs four or five cents. Add 2¢ for the cost of a utility-scale Tesla battery, and renewables with reliable storage are still at half the price of new nuclear power.

Read more …

Fossil Fuels Just Lost the Race Against Renewables

Bloomberg Business, Tom Randall, 14 April

The race for renewable energy has passed a turning point. The world is now adding more capacity for renewable power each year than coal, natural gas, and oil combined. And there’s no going back.

Read More…


R300m Atlantis wind-turbine tower factory offers light at the end of the tunnel

With South Africa currently in the grip of debilitating rolling black-outs and load shedding due to the Eskom power grid being stretched to capacity, and exacerbated by a loss of capacity at its Majuba power station in Mpumalanga, it comes as a ray of light that GRI – Renewable Industries officially announced the opening of their new R300m wind turbine tower production facility in Atlantis, Cape Town.

South Africa’s steady economic growth and focus on industrialisation, together with its mass electrification program has seen a steep increase in the demand for electricity, to the point where South Africa’s energy demand is expected to double by 2030. Adequate provision for this massive demand has been hampered by various factors, suffice to say that the rapid search for alternative energy sources is a priority. The government is encouraging the search for new sustainable energy practices with various tax incentives, helping businesses and local government to actively seek tangible and immediate solutions to this growing problem. The government is also looking to support sustainable green energy initiatives on a national scale through a diverse range of clean-energy options as envisaged in an Integrated Resource Plan. In terms of this plan, which is a 20-year projection on electricity demand and production, about 42% of electricity generated must come from renewable resources. Read more.

Wind tower manufacturing facility completed on time

EE Publishers, 22 September, 2014.

The Coega WorleyParsons Consortium recently handed over South Africa’s first wind tower manufacturing facility to its joint developers, the DCD Group, the Industrial Development Corporation and the Coega Development Corporation. The factory is located in the Coega Industrial Development Zone, which is strategically positioned adjacent to the Port of Ngqura, on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth.

The DCD wind tower factory has already commenced manufacturing tower sections. Each tower weighs between 160 and 240 t, and comprises of three to five sections of 25 to 35 m in length. The manufacturing facility comprises a 23 m high x 255 m long x 77 m wide factory, a 3500 m2 storage and canteen building, a 1500m2 office building and 26 000 m2 of storage space for tower sections. Provision has also been made to extend the factory to manufacture steel elements for the construction of a possible future nuclear power facility at Thyspunt, 70 km south-east of Port Elizabeth.

Contact Willhem Hofmeyer, WorleyParsons,