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OVERVIEW tion, transmission and distribution and it is a monopoly. Mboweni’s statement opens up the possibility that a long-stalled plan to divide up these functions could happen. In 2013, a parliamentary bill called the Independent System and Market Operator (ISMO) was passed but allowed to lapse in the same year. Figures released by the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) showed shareholding for local communities reached an estimated net income of R29.2-billion over the lifespan of the projects. Some 14 000 new jobs are expected to be created, mostly in rural areas, and more than R30-billion has already been spent on Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) in the construction phase. In 2018, then Energy Minister Jeff Rabebe restarted the REIPPPP when he signed off on projects totalling R56-billion that will add 2 300MW to the national grid. There had been a long delay as Eskom argued against accepting more power purchase agreements. Most of South Africa’s electricity comes from coal and Eskom is building two huge coal-fired power stations. Most commentators on the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018 have praised its basis in science and the fact that it has adopted the “least-cost” method of analysing options. With renewable energy costs having been dramatically reduced, the IRP concludes that wind, gas and solar power (photovoltaic) will be the three methods to be allocated the most new projects up to the year 2030. SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESS 2020

The other form of solar power (concentrated solar power, CSP) is very effective and some projects have been successfully commissioned, but it is relatively expensive. A majority of wind projects have been allocated to the Eastern Cape, but approximately 60% of the projects so far allocated in the programme have been in the Northern Cape, the nation’s sunniest province. Projects such as Kathu Solar Park (100MW), a concentrated solar power (CSP) project, and the Roggeveld Wind Farm (147MW) are indicative of the large scale of most of the energy generation that is being rolled out. Abengoa’s three plants in the Northern Cape use CSP which reflects the sun’s rays during the day into a molten salt storage system. The energy is then slowly released during the night. The 205m tower that collects the rays at the Khi Solar One site is one of the tallest structures in South Africa. Despite the emphasis on renewables in the IRP, South Africa’s energy mix is still weighted towards coal. The IRP has attracted criticism for enabling an expansion of the coal industry. Koeberg nuclear power station is due to be decommissioned soon after 2045.

Gas While the main sources of renewable energy being pursued are solar and wind power, an open-cycle gas turbine plant at Shakaskraal in the iLembe District Municipality (pictured) points the way to another method being encouraged by energy planners. This 670MW gas turbine plant can be converted to gas-fired technology. Its project company, Avon Peaking Power, is jointly owned by a community trust, Mitsui (Japan), Legend Power Solutions (South Africa) and ENGIE of France, which is the largest shareholder. Gas in various forms is very much in the spotlight. South Africa’s neighbour Mozambique has large offshore deposits and a sub-committee of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has been tasked with working out a master plan for the region. A study prepared by the Energy Centre of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) reports that wind and solar power (supported by natural gas, biogas and hydro-electric power) could be up to the task of providing “baseload” power. The Department of Energy is targeting the procurement of 3 126MW and intends spending R64-billion on port, pipeline, generation and transmission infrastructure at three key ports.

ONLINE RESOURCES IPP projects: www.ipp-projects.co.za National Energy Regulator of South Africa: www.nersa.org.za South African Renewable Energy Council: www.sarec.org.za South African Wind Energy Association: www.sawea.org.za

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Profile for Global Africa Network

South African Business 2019/2020  

South African Business 2019/2020 is a trade and investment journal for public and private entities either based in South Africa or looking t...

South African Business 2019/2020  

South African Business 2019/2020 is a trade and investment journal for public and private entities either based in South Africa or looking t...

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