R/€ = 15.30Change: -0.05
R/$ = 14.48Change: -0.09
Au 1065.44 $/ozChange: 7.56
Pt 831.50 $/ozChange: -4.00
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?

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 Letters About Us
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
Jan 27, 2012

The CSIR is stumbling boldly where angels fear to tread

Gold|Africa|Building|Eskom|Gas|Industrial|Innovation|Nuclear|PROJECT|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Siemens|Storage|Turbines|Africa|Energy|Wind Energy|Environmental|Power|Turbines
Gold|Africa|Building|Eskom|Gas|Industrial|Innovation|Nuclear|PROJECT|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Siemens|Storage|Turbines|Africa|Energy|Wind Energy|Environmental|Power|Turbines
© Reuse this

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) was established in 1945.

The Scientific Research Council Act of 1988, as amended by Act 71 of 1990, states that “the objects of the CSIR are, through directed and particularly multidisciplinary research and technological innovation, to foster, in the national interest and in fields which in its opinion should receive preference, industrial and scientific development, either by itself or in cooperation with principals from the private or public sectors, and thereby to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of the people of the Republic, and to perform any other functions that may be assigned to the CSIR by or under this Act”.

Hey, isn’t that impressive? Huh? Well, I afraid that the gold in the halo is looking a bit unpolished when you read the offering from the CSIR which purports to be the environmental- impact assessment (EIA) report for four wind energy farms in the Western Cape. The EIA has an impressive beginning, listed under ‘Need for the Project’: “The Western Cape province is currently facing considerable constraints in the availability and stability of electricity supply . . . and the Western Cape is reliant on the import of power.

“The province’s maximum electricity demand of 3 500 MW to 3 900 MW cannot be met by the transmission lines connecting the Western Cape to the national grid. Accordingly, pressure on local generation capacity, most notably the Koeberg nuclear power station (two units with a combined maximum capacity of 1 800 MW), is such that, if one reactor at Koeberg is off line, the entire province experiences supply shortages. “Accordingly, the need has been identified to generate additional power in the province.”

Whoa! Is this really true? Well, yes, it was once – in 2008. In fact, the report mentions that this information is from a 2008 edition of Energize magazine – four years ago. Too bad it was not from Eskom’s transmission department in 2011. But it is no longer true. Without Koeberg 1 and 2, there are three gas-turbine stations and the Palmiet pumped-storage scheme, which can supply peaking power to keep the lights on.

Further, Eskom is building additional lines to the Western Cape right now, so the need for local generation falls away. But the real Lulu is the assumption that wind turbines will reduce the demand in the Western Cape. Hello? Hello? The peak demand will only be reduced if the wind happens to be blowing at a reasonable speed. Which, for 70% of the time, it isn’t. Nobody in his or her right mind would base an argument for wind power on an electrical peak demand for a province.

The report states: “Siemens 2.3 MW turbines and WinWinD 3 MW turbines are used as typical examples of the types of turbines envisaged. These turbines have a hub height of 60 m to 100 m [and] a blade diameter of between 70 m and 112 m.”

Further on, it says that 70 turbines are proposed, located at Albertina, Heidelberg, Swellendam and Mossel Bay. Got that? Not too hard? Simply put, the distance from the ground to the top of the blade will be between 130 m and 212 m. For the 130 m turbines, each turbine, plus blades, will be taller than all but 15 buildings in the whole of South Africa. The 212 m turbines will only be topped by the Carlton Centre in Johannesburg and will be way taller than any building in Cape Town, Pretoria or Durban.

And they are planning to erect 70 of these along the freeway to the Garden Route. But don’t worry – the CSIR has got it covered. It states: “Visual impacts: medium to high impact on landscape character (negative), but could be perceived as a positive impact as the project represents a move towards renewable energy.”

I can see it now – when faced with a vista of 44 turbines around Mossel Bay, the tourist whips out a camera and takes photos of the completely stuffed-up view, since it represents green energy. Hello? Hello? Part Two next week: The CSIR blunders on.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Terry Mackenzie-Hoy News
Klaus Fröhlich, head of development at automaker BMW, recently stated that, in 50 years' time, most of us will be driving electric cars. Sadly, this is not really applicable to me because, at the age of 110, if I am lucky to live that long, I will be driving a...
Martin Luther King Jr ended his famous 'I Have a Dream' speech thus: " . . . we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of...
In about 1984, I visited my brother in Cape Town (I was living in East London). He shared a house with two people, one of whom was a very beautiful woman called Sue. When I arrived, he was not there, but Sue was. So we chatted a bit and she said she was doing...
Latest News
Updated 3 hours ago The tide has turned for South African ports and the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) is pressing ahead with its investment under Transnet’s Market Demand Strategy (MDS) notwithstanding poor economic growth. TNPA CEO Richard Vallihu told a TPA...
Updated 3 hours ago A 7 500 m2 rooftop solar system has been installed on several buildings at the V&A Waterfront, in Cape Town. The powering of several buildings on the iconic property will result in an estimated 1 640 000 kWh/y of clean energy. So far, 900 kW have been successfully...
Updated 3 hours ago The 865 km gas pipeline from the central processing facility (CPF) in Temane, Mozambique, to Secunda, South Africa, is to undergo a further $210-million expansion, the Republic of Mozambique Pipeline Investments Company (Rompco) confirmed on Monday. Rompco is a joint...
Recent Research Reports
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 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 infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
This Week's Magazine
The BMW Group will invest R6-billion at BMW Group South Africa’s (BMW SA’s) Rosslyn plant to produce the next-generation X3 sports-activity vehicle (SAV) for the local and export markets. Rosslyn will continue production of the current 3 Series through its lifecycle,...
The lack of consequences for poor performance and transgressions on the part of contractors remains a significant hurdle to tackling South Africa’s service delivery challenges, delegates heard at the Consulting Engineers South Africa Infrastructure Indaba, on...
City of Ekurhuleni executive mayor Mondli Gungubele earlier this month officially named the city’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Harambee.
NICK CHRISTODOULOU As about 58% of data stored by organisations is dark, they must identify this dark data to expose risks and valuable information
About 58% of unstructured data stored by companies is dark data, which means that the value or regulatory importance of the data has not been determined. Subsequently, most of the stored data add costs, rather than increasing revenue or reduce regulatory risks, says...
BRIAN VERWEY Effective management, review and administration of non-core elements can improve business operations and increase revenue and decrease unforeseen risks
Effective logistics, import/export and manufacturing consulting services require detailed industry knowledge and experience, but can add significant value to these industries by providing expert advice on various technical elements in their value chains, says...
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
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
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96