Daily Maverisk, Chris Yelland, 2 August, 2017.
In the brave new world of power generation, the old paradigm and approach of dispatching baseload, mid-merit and peaking generation capacity, in that order, to meet electricity demand, is being turned on its head. By CHRIS YELLAND.
First published by EE Publishers
With the massive reduction in the price of renewable energy from wind and solar photo-voltaic (PV) plant over the last five years to levels now less than half that of energy from new coal and nuclear baseload plant, a new approach to power generation beyond “baseloadism” is emerging.
Fig. 1: Energy price reduction from wind and solar PV in South Africa, 2011 to 2015 (Source: CSIR)
In fact, the cost of energy in South Africa from new wind and solar PV plant is now even lower than Eskom’s average cost of electricity from its entire, ageing power generation fleet comprising a mix of coal, nuclear, hydro, pumped water storage and diesel-driven open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs).