To further fund research in the renewable-energy space, Eskom will, through its Power Plant Engineering Institute (EPPEI), donate a further R4-million to the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES), based at Stellenbosch University.
It donated R2.6-million to CRSES last year.
“Eskom’s unique role in driving socioeconomic growth requires us to work intimately with academic institutions to develop a path-breaking knowledge base in the science environment,” Eskom corporate affairs divisional executive Chose Choeu says.
The CRSES is also receiving funding from Eskom’s Research, Testing and Development business unit for a two-year solar photovoltaic penetration study valued at R2.5-million.
“Over the period of its tenth academic year, the centre was involved in the graduation of three doctoral, 22 masters and a number of postgraduate diploma students. The centre has also been very successful in attracting additional funding from industry and government,” he says.
In 2012, EPPEI identified concentrated solar power (CSP) and wind energy as the two focal areas for Eskom in the field of renewable-energy and, subsequently, solar photovoltaics was added.
“Stellenbosch University has established itself as one of the leading universities in CSP research in the world and has developed a number of unique experimental facilities and technology. Eskom is proud to have made its substantial contribution to this journey,” says Choeu.
Meanwhile, Eskom also has a multiyear collaborative funding programme with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, contributing R23.4-million. Another R17.5-million in collaborative projects is currently under consideration, says Choeu.