http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.20Change: 0.17
R/$ = 11.58Change: 0.07
Au 1198.59 $/ozChange: 4.13
Pt 1200.50 $/ozChange: 3.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Sep 21, 2012

‘Severely underused’ standby generators could mitigate power shortages – industry executive

Back
Construction|Engineering|Africa|Carbon & Energy Africa GM Denis|CoAL|Cogeneration|Consulting|Diesel|Eskom|Flow|Generator|Generators|Public Enterprises|Safety|Turbines|Waste|Africa|South Africa|Cogeneration|Electricity Supply|Electricity Tariffs|Energy|Equipment|Flow|Gas Turbines|Lowest Electricity Tariffs|Services|Cogeneration|Malusi Gigaba|Power|Turbines|Van Es|Waste|Diesel
Construction|Engineering|Africa|CoAL|Cogeneration|Consulting|Diesel|Eskom|Flow|Generator|Generators|Safety|Turbines|Waste|Africa||Cogeneration|Energy|Equipment|Flow|Services|Cogeneration|Power|Turbines|Waste|
construction|engineering|africa-company|carbon-energy-africa-gm-denis|coal|cogeneration|consulting-company|diesel-company|eskom|flow-company|generator|generators|public-enterprises|safety|turbines-company|waste-company|africa|south-africa|cogeneration-industry-term|electricity-supply|electricity-tariffs|energy|equipment|flow-industry-term|gas-turbines|lowest-electricity-tariffs|services|cogeneration-person|malusi-gigaba|power|turbines-person|van-es|waste|diesel
© Reuse this



Existing standby generators may be the key to mitigating the looming threat of power shortages in South Africa, assuming that State-owned power utility Eskom can seize the opportunity to take advantage of more than 3 500 MW of standby power already installed across the country, says engineering consulting and services company Carbon & Energy Africa GM Denis van Es.

While the cost of running generators, especially those fuelled by diesel, is signifi- cantly higher than simply relying on the national grid, the costs of downtime owing to power failures can be even higher.

“Everybody would be running their diesel generators if it wasn’t more expensive than Eskom’s tariffs, says Van Es, adding that South Africa enjoys some of the lowest electricity tariffs in the world.

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba reiterated this at a press conference in March, saying that despite Eskom’s tariff increases over recent years, South Africa’s electricity tariffs remained among the lowest in the world.

Van Es points out, however, that major businesses, banks and hospitals have had to invest in generators to offset the damaging effects of unexpected outages.

He adds that, despite the cost of running generators, there are thousands of privately owned standby generators in South Africa not connected to the national grid. “These generators are only used sporadically, are essentially collecting dust and will only be used if there is a blackout some day.”

Van Es believes these generators are severely underused assets and that they hold significant potential to form part of a national demand management programme.

“Shouldn’t we consider ways of bringing these generators onto the grid? This would save government hundreds of millions of rands on the construction of additional gas turbines that would be used during peak consumption times,” he says.

Van Es points out that paying people for their generators’ operating costs and, thereby, contributing towards capital costs would be more cost effective for government than constructing new gas turbines. Moreover, the generators already exist. “All we need is a contractual and financial framework,” he says.

Van Es believes that using existing standby generators will significantly reduce the load on the grid but acknowledges that there are safety concerns over personnel working on lines that may be energised from both directions and the quality of supply from small generators.

His solution is to remove the load from the grid, replacing the supply with an on-site generator. “The circuits receiving their supply from the grid are made to be physically separate from the grid at the time of the switchover, thus removing the signifi- cant need to consider safety and quality issues with respect to the grid.”

Van Es envisages the possible use of standby generators as a demand-response option. “The intention is to operate the generators in times of need, either when there is insufficient supply or when a network constraint arises,” he says.

Eskom’s Response

In 2007, the State-owned power utility indicated that electricity supply would remain tight for the next five to eight years.

“The Medupi and Kusile power stations – coal-fired power stations that run all day – will account for the baseload once [they have been] completed. But to deal with the peaks, more agile equipment is needed – equipment that can speed up and slow down quickly when demand hits unexpected peaks,” says Van Es.

He notes that Eskom’s gas turbines can warm up and cool down significantly faster than coal-powered stations but the fuel for those turbines could cost the same as the diesel used to fuel generators.

Independence

Van Es states that South Africans have become too reliant on Eskom to provide a constant flow of electricity at a cheap price.

“This is the wrong approach. Each citizen should be looking after his or her own interests. Industry, in particular, would be served best if it were less dependent on an outside electricity supplier.”

This would also require industry to scrutinise its own energy consumption and find ways to reduce this load by using energy efficient processes, such as cogeneration.

“Businesses need to look at what they are throwing away – waste that could contain useful energy and that could be converted at their business sites and fed back into the electricity supply.”

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Generators and Standby Power News
OPEN TYPE GAS GENERATOR Renttech SA provides rental and sale stand-by power products and services
Power equipment sales and rental company Renttech South Africa (SA) has brought two new ranges of diesel-fuelled power generators, which the company says has helped it grow its portfolio as an industrial sales and rental equipment company to the Southern African...
KWALE MINERAL SANDS Aggreko has supplied a 350 kVA power package to the Kwale mineral sands mine in to supplement local grid supplies
Temporary power and temperature control solutions provider Aggreko says that it is experiencing growth in demand for its rental temporary power products within the African minerals sector as mining companies increasingly opt for rental solutions to back-up or...
PAUL HEYNS Altaaqa Global Southern Africa continuously communicates with potential customers and local authorities, strengthening the company’s reach in the Southern Africa region
Temporary power solutions provider Altaaqa Global says its Southern Africa branch, which recently opened in Johannesburg, South Africa, has expanded the company’s reach in the temporary power supply market, especially in the mining and infrastructure construction...
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 2 hours 22 minutes ago Ailing German engineering and services company Bilfinger SE has agreed to sell most of its construction division to Swiss building giant Implenia as it seeks to focus on more lucrative industrial services. Bilfinger – which has issued four profit warnings this year,...
China appears to have been routinely underestimating output from its sprawling steel sector, with official figures for last year alone 40-million tonnes below a key industry estimate - an amount equivalent to Germany's entire annual production. Beijing has vowed to...
Lumwana, Zambia
Canada’s Barrick Gold Corp will suspend operations at its Lumwana copper mine, in Zambia’s Northwestern province, after the country enacted legislation that raised the royalty rate on openpit mining operations from 6% to 20%. TSX- and NYSE-listed Barrick, the world’s...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
South Africa remains an important manufacturing and export platform for Ford Motor Company, says executive chairperson Bill Ford. However, he adds that other countries on the continent are “becoming interesting”, and that the US carmaker is casting its net wider for...
TO BE PHASED INTO SERVICE The first MeerKAT dish, with another 63 to come
Germany’s Max-Planck-Society (MPG) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPlfR) are investing €11-million (about R150-million) into South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array programme. The money will be used to design, build and install S-band radio...
Infrastructure spend in sub-Saharan Africa will grow from $70-billion in 2013 to $180-billion by 2025, says PwC capital projects and infrastructure Africa leader Jonathan Cawood. This is one of the findings of PwC’s Capital Projects & Infrastructure report on East...
Private-owned defence and aerospace manufacturer Paramount Group and the Ichikowitz Family Foundation unveiled its Anti-Poaching Skills and K9 Training Academy in Magaliesburg last month.
MATT BARKER Wireless networks should enable users to engage and must provide relevant information to them based on their activity and location
The inclusion of Bluetooth to provide sub-three meter accuracy and heightened functionality for users is one of the ways to change existing wireless networks into engagement networks. An engagement network differs from common wireless networks in that it enables the...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks