Sun, 26 Jun 2022
22.7 C
Durban

Future bright for SA renewables, but coal not going away soon

Home Infrastructure Energy – Power Generation Future bright for SA renewables, but coal not going away soon

The biggest news for South Africa to emerge from the recently concluded COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference, was the $8.5 billion finance package intended to curtail the country’s reliance on coal and upgrade its transmission infrastructure.

While this cash injection could put a stop to loadshedding and help South Africa retire some of its coal-fired stations, it is important to understand all that an energy transition like this entails, according to Tygue Theron, Head of Business Development at Energy Partners Intelligence, a division of Energy Partners and part of the PSG group of companies.

He said a move towards renewable energy is just what the country needs, but South Africans should also understand what this scenario is likely to entail.

“I don’t believe that coal power will ever be completely removed from South Africa’s energy mix. Wind and solar power will likely become much larger contributors to our national grid, but there will always be a need for a form of energy generation that can reliably be brought online the moment it is needed.

“Since both of these renewable energy sources reach their peak production during different times of the day or year, there will always be a need for more consistent baseload energy sources like coal to fill the gaps in renewable energy production.”

In addition to this, Theron said consumers and businesses should expect to pay more for their electricity once the national grid has been upgraded.

“The most important objective for improving the national power grid, is arguably to eliminate loadshedding (which has already reduced the country’s GDP by as much as R450 billion). However, a higher quality of service will also come at a higher cost. This means that there will still be scope for businesses to offset their energy costs through private embedded generation.”

Most Popular

The rollercoaster and exhilaration of being a demolition specialist

TODAY is International Women in Engineering Day. To celebrate, Jet Demolition contracts and project manager Kate Bester highlights what it's like being in close...

Financial reports won’t save local government crisis, warns town and regional planners

By Burgert Gildenhuys: Director, BC Gildenhuys & Associates IT is unclear whether South Africa has the will or guts to confront issues contributing to the...

N3 truck blockade: It’s ‘economic sabotage’, say ministers and business

ANOTHER truck blockade saw Van Reenen's Pass on the N3, the country's main domestic trade route, being closed on Thursday 16 June. This protest...

Factory of the Year competition returns as economy bounces back

FOLLOWING a challenging two years in the manufacturing sector, Kearney, a leading management consulting firm, is excited to announce the return of the Factory...