Joemat-Pettersson fires point man on nuclear

The key figure in the government’s bid to secure a 9.6 GW nuclear energy programme, nuclear physicist Senti Thobejane, has been fired by Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, raising new questions on the future of the project.

Business Day, 15 September 2015

SA’s nuclear procurement plan will be transparent, says Nene

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene pledged on Tuesday that the country’s nuclear programme, its most expensive procurement deal, will be transparent, dispelling concerns among opposition parties that the government is moving ahead without proper disclosure.

Business Day, 15 September 2015

Eskom plans six major power corridors ahead of decentralised capacity trend

The increasing decentralisation of electricity generation capacity in South Africa will require a new approach to grid planning that is underpinned by the development of six major power corridors linking the primary load centres in the centre of the country and along the KwaZulu-Natal coast with new sources of electricity generation in the south and far north of the country, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) heard on Tuesday.

Engineering News, 15 September 2015

Increased competition could benefit South African power sector – Tata

More independent power producers (IPPs) should get involved in South Africa’s power generation sector to create a multi-buyer market, as opposed to the single-buyer market currently dominated by state-owned power utility Eskom, integrated power company Tata Power MD Anil Sardana believes.

During a recent media trip to Tata’s India operations, he noted that greater competition was needed to enable Eskom and local municipalities to buy electricity from more suppliers that could supply power at competitive prices.

Engineering News, 15 September 2015

Nuclear, a base-load powerhouse

According to the latest figures from the Electric Power Research Institute, wind generators can only achieve a net capacity factor of roughly 25% and photovoltaic solar is even less at only 20%. Newer-generation nuclear power plants can now achieve a net capacity factor in excess of 92%.

If nuclear is to be compared with anything, it should be compared with other sources of base-load power - such as coal and gas - and not renewable energy.

Business Day, 16 September 2015

Gridlocked: A long-term look at South Africa’s electricity sector

On Tuesday, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in South Africa launched a research paper, Gridlocked, stating that a different type of grid is needed to solve the country's energy challenge.

The grid used to handle only a one-way flow of power from producer to consumer. Now, according to the Gridlocked research paper, it has to accommodate potentially millions of small-scale producers feeding energy into the grid.

Engineering News, 16 September 2015