-

Energize South Africa should open the door wider for renewables
- Advertisment -

South Africa should open the door wider for renewables

- Advertisment -

South Africa’s advanced industrial and financial sectors, together with its abundant natural resources, have contributed in making it the second largest economy in Africa. But to bring power to the remotest corners of the country, to maintain its economic growth momentum and to reduce its carbon footprint, it must accelerate the adoption of efficient, economic, sustainable and eco-friendly modes of power generation.

Maxine Ghavi

As the population increases, urbanisation intensifies, and climate change concerns heighten, the clamour for clean and decentralised electric power generation will increase. In that effort, distributed energy resources and off-grid power generation will play a key role.

Powering the African labour market

On-site, off-grid electricity generation can put the dream of affordable, safe, clean and reliable power within reach for every African. On one hand, it presents a massive commercial opportunity for African utilities to reach millions of people who live in dense, yet untapped, communities without a prohibitive financial outlay. On the other hand, the production of off-grid components, such as solar-based products, can create employment for hundreds of thousands on the continent. Job creation and income generation can further support sustained progress in electricity access and uptake, enhancing firms’ and households’ ability to pay. This will generate financial benefits for utilities and make electricity expansion economically viable, further encouraging investment and higher utilisation.

New possibilities

Rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, small wind farms, microgrids and battery energy storage will also allow consumers to generate their own power as well as sell it back to the utility, giving rise to new and competitive business models which will further optimise the cost of electricity. It will also lead to the development of more renewable energy technologies and associated industries such as electric vehicles, greatly reducing emissions of harmful carbon-based and other toxins.

Solar PV installation on Robben Island.

The good news is that integrating solar PV and wind plants into the existing electric networks is already cheaper than it was ten years ago, with costs predicted to drop even further in the foreseeable future. Battery costs are already plummeting. These developments provide opportunities to produce and store more renewable energy and expand its usage. Such distributed energy resources can be integrated with a wide range of diverse conventional electricity resources, enabling an uninterrupted, efficient and clean supply of power.

According to a statement made in August 2018 by Jeff Radebe, Minister of Energy at the time, the government aims to produce 27,6 GW of electricity using renewable resources (solar, wind, and hydro) by 2030 resulting in the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Technological progress underpinning off-grid electricity systems can provide enough electrical capacity for productive higher-tier uses at a significantly lower cost[1].

Transition to clean energy generation

The ABB microgrid solutions with battery energy storage systems are already ensuring stable and sustainable power, harnessing solar energy, and serving as a global model for the clean-energy future at the World Heritage Site Robben Island.

For microgrid solutions with battery energy storage systems, ABB’s energy management system, the ABB Ability e-mesh, monitors and controls system performance and helps to improve energy efficiency, fault identification and predictive maintenance through accurate demand planning and generation forecasting.

The solution covers the whole distributed energy ecosystem end-to-end, ensuring a safe and reliable supply of power. Although South Africa envisions a green economy wherein everyone has access to safe electricity, it needs to take a much bigger step towards more rapid integration of renewables into the power grid. As more and more people join the labour-force and climate change concerns worsen, the country must be more proactive in the rollout of smart power technologies which will help it provide a better standard of living to all its people.

[1]World Bank Group: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/31333/9781464813610.pdf?sequence=6&isAllowed=y

Contact Thembisile Dzonzi ABB, Tel 010 202-5841, thembisile.dzonzi@za.abb.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles

Local branch opened in Limpopo

Hytec South Africa, a member of the Bosch Rexroth South Africa Group, officially opened its new branch in Lephalale, Limpopo in January 2020. The...

LED lighting controlled by a solar inverter

IMEON Energy announces the release of the LED Smart Lighting application (app) which enables its inverters to interact with smart LED lights from the...

EU plans energy system of the future

Information from the European Commission  -   To become climate-neutral by 2050, Europe needs to transform its energy system, which accounts for 75% of the EU's...

Industry association appoints new board

The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) appointed a new board at its recent Annual General Meeting (AGM). SAPVIA is an industry body which...

Popular fuel brand launches contactless fuel-payment app

Engen has announced the arrival of the new Engen 1app, which offers motorists a safe and conveniently contactless way to pay for fuel at its...

Covid-19 calls for “balanced” strategy for technical audits

Engineering projects face a growing range of audits, assessment and monitoring, but will Covid-19 restrictions on movement make it difficult for consultants to carry...

Alternator for cogeneration applications

Nidec Leroy-Somer announces the launch of the LSAH 44.3, an alternator designed for cogeneration applications in district heating. This new alternator incorporates an optimised...

Rapeseed natural ester fluid for EHV transformer

TransnetBW, a German electricity transmission operator, recently ordered a power transformer from Siemens. The specification called for the transformer to be filled with natural...

Natural gas to experience largest demand shock on record

Information from the International Energy Agency  -   Natural gas is expected to experience its largest demand shock on record in 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic...

Coal for primary energy on the wane

Quoting the Yomiuri daily newspaper, Reuters reports that Japan is planning to suspend or close as many as 100 ageing and inefficient coal-fired power...

Hitachi ABB Power Grids commences operations

Complementary portfolios and technology strengths to ensure continuity, enhance customer value and bring growth opportunities. In accordance with the agreement signed on 17 December...

Energy efficiency: Still the low-hanging fruit

by Fereidoon P. Sioshansi, Ph.D, Menlo Energy -  Efficient use of energy is the key to a low carbon future. “In the battle against climate...

Wind and hydrogen offer potential to drive exports market

Information from the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) The opportunity for South Africa to couple its renewable energy economic stimulus to non-electricity prospects, presents...

Carbon tax regulations regarding allowances and premiums

by Paula-Ann Novotny and Gillian Niven, Webber Wentzel On 19 June 2020, Tito Mboweni, the minister of finance, finalised the next set of regulatory mechanisms...

Battery packs for mobility and back-up power

In addition to supplying lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery packs for forklifts in materials-handling applications, Chase Technologies is also ramping up supply to ancillary...
- Advertisement -