http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.50Change: 0.09
R/$ = 10.50Change: 0.06
Au 1294.90 $/ozChange: -0.67
Pt 1413.00 $/ozChange: -15.50
 
 
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
 
Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013   Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science & Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Oct 14, 2011

SA seeks to build new industries around solar energy roll-out

Back
National Energy Regulator of South Africa head of department: electricity regulatory reform Ronald Chauke discusses financial backing of renewable energy projects in South Africa. Cameraperson: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Darlene Creamer.
Customised Energy Solutions|Renewable-Energy|Schneider Electric|Transformers|Africa|Germany|India|South Africa|Spain|Able-energy Industry|Clean Energy|Electricity|Energy|Energy Mix|Energy Security|Local Renewable-energy Market|Renewable-energy Experts|Steel|Transformers|Wind Energy Technologies|Arnaud Allix|Mokgadi Mathekgana|Netra Walawalkar|Transformers|Wind Energy Technologies
customised-energy-solutions|renewable-energy-company|schneider-electric|transformers-company|africa|germany|india|south-africa|spain|able-energy-industry|clean-energy|electricity|energy|energy-mix|energy-security|local-renewable-energy-market|renewable-energy-experts-industry-term|steel|transformers-industry-term|wind-energy-technologies|arnaud-allix|mokgadi-mathekgana|netra-walawalkar|transformers-person|wind-energy-technologies-technology
© Reuse this



South Africa aims to create a local renewable-energy industry using proven technologies, such as photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy technologies, to catalyse the local renewable-energy market, says Department of Energy chief director for clean energy Mokgadi Mathekgana.

“The strategic objectives are to diversify our energy mix and to improve access to electricity, but it must be of good quality and affordable,” he said, speaking at the Solar Energy Africa conference, in Sandton, last month.

The Integrated Resource Plan was focused on affordable energy, of which localisation was an important aspect, with a focus on local component manufacture, said Mathekgana.

“It is what the department and South Africa need to do. We cannot only import all the equipment, because local beneficiation will help to develop the local skills needed to operate and support the equipment,” he explained.

Renewables must complement fossil fuels. The Southern African Development Community must become increasingly interconnected, because regional integration is key to improving energy security. Further, research on sources of energy must be supported and used to make these fully commercially deployable.

“It is a new technology growth path and is aimed at establishing industries in South Africa. But it needs carbon credit markets, otherwise we cannot pay for it,” said Mathekgana.

“The affordability of the transformation of our energy mix is important and key, and independent power producers have been brought on board to transfer skills to our people,” he said.

The Department of Energy favoured the use of regulatory mechanisms to support the nascent industry and sought to collaborate with government, investors and donors, he said.

International best practices would be drawn from partners, renewable-energy experts in developed countries, such as Spain and Germany, and local standards would be established by the South African Bureau of Standards.

“Africa is rich in potential renewable resources, but the lack of infrastructure investment forms a barrier to their exploitation. Also, resources that cannot be tapped now can be made accessible through the deployment of renewables, which may also drive economic development.

Development partnerships can help to unlock Africa’s renewables and partnerships reduce risks,” he said.

Meanwhile, French electric equipment specialist company Schneider Electric’s Arnaud Allix says that 50% of a solar photovoltaic power plant’s equipment and operation can be done locally, even without local production of the thin-film or crystalline modules.

“The PV business can help with economic development in South Africa and Africa and can provide reliable electricity at a relatively low cost while creating jobs.

“PV is safe, productive, efficient and reliable, and a PV plant in Africa will generate about twice as much as a European plant,” says Allix.

The civil work to build a PV plant can be done locally and the aluminium or steel mountings and brackets, the cabling, switchboards, inverters and step-up transformers can all be manufactured locally, while the PV modules can be imported.

“A PV park has centralised architecture and can be rolled out en masse, owing to its standardised design and equipment.

The cost of the PV modules will be about 22% of the total cost of the plant.”

The performance of a PV plant depends on the quality of the components and the design of the plant, necessitating the use of an experienced partner. However, performance and availability also depend on operation and maintenance.

Engineering procurement and construction companies, such as Schneider Electric, can help to reduce financing costs, if they have a proven record and can guarantee availability levels of between 97% and 98%, he says.

However, the regulatory regime in a country must be stable and purchasing power agreements must have a longer duration than the duration of the financing of a project, notes Allix.

Further, local manufacturing of components will help to reduce prices and will also lead to a reduction in operational costs as the industry begins to be better understood by suppliers and manufacturers, notes Indian energy consulting firm Customised Energy Solutions senior analyst Netra Walawalkar.

For example, solar water heaters help to alleviate poverty and localisation not only helps to sti- mulate jobs and skills creation, but also improves demand management as people become increas- ingly aware of the need to save energy and alternative ways to heat water. However, the financing and costs of these systems remained a barrier in South Africa, said Mathekgana.

Further, the operation and maintenance of solar PV and wind energy plants are similar, and this increases efficiencies across the industry and reduces the levelised cost of electricity produced by these plants, easing implementation, explains Walawalkar.

In the developed world, good performance from installed PV plants buoys the energy market. In developing countries, specifically South Africa and India, the potential development of renewable-energy generation is supported by policy measures, she says.

The financial challenges and capital intensity of renewable-energy projects are compounded by a lack of operational experience in these countries and the fact that their financial insti- tutions, which will be asked to fund some of the projects, are not comfortable with these new technologies – and demonstrations are expensive, she adds.

“The fact that these institutions are uncertain affects the economics of renew- able-energy projects and means that, between the plans and the building, there may be changes,” concludes Walawalkar.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Video News
More
 
 
Latest News
Renewable-energy projects, such as this Northern Cape solar farm, seen as key to low‐carbon energy supply.
Upfront investment costs will and should remain a critical consideration as South Africa moves to upscale and accelerate its infrastructure programmes. But one of the lead authors of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) argues that the...
The barrier to efficient water service delivery in South Africa was not of a technological nature but rather related to legal and Constitutional challenges, Water Research Commission (WRC) CEO Dhesigen Naidoo said on Thursday. Opening a WRC debate under the theme...
ANC SG Gwede Mantashe (L), chairperson Baleka Mbete (C) and President Jacob Zuma (R)
The creation of a small and medium enterprises department is very likely, African National Congress national chairwoman Baleka Mbete said on Thursday. "We are talking about a focused department looking at small and medium businesses because the departments must be...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Updated 7 hours ago The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
MORE IN SA Phase 2 should see local content on the mainline locomotive increase from 65% to 80% by the end of 2014
Updated 7 hours ago The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
Updated 7 hours ago The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
Updated 7 hours ago AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
Updated 7 hours ago South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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