Renewable energy bid selection and allocation criteria in SA flawed

  The current bid selection criteria of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme’s narrow evaluation and spatial blindness favours projects that are not necessarily the least-cost option for renewable energy at the point of consumption. This not only impacts energy costs for Eskom, and therefore for consumers, but also creates transmission congestion […]

Counting on energy storage for better utility-scale PV output

  Photovoltaic (PV) plant operators are keen to adopt energy storage if the grid operator demands a certain ramp rate from their output. It is critical to assess how various stakeholders perceive energy storage and what sort of developments can be expected in the solar PV arena. Energy storage today can allow utility-scale PV to […]

Making the most of solar thermal energy

  Concentrated solar power (CSP) generation uses solar radiation to generate electricity from solar thermal energy. This power generation is employed in regions of high solar insolation, especially in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the United States, western India, South Africa, and Australia. While many commercial CSP plants are operating at present […]

Creating a storage enabled smart grid

  With the rise of coupled solar and storage systems, there are challenges which must be addressed, notably claims of grid instability resulting from solar generation. A careful examination of the current situation from different perspectives, and proposition of viable solutions is necessary. There are two main challenges today in the solar photovoltaic (PV) market: […]

Applicability of solar PV for rooftops

  There is a lot of chatter about whether to put “this solar thing” on rooftops. Often, however, the full impact of such an intervention is not understood, and so the differences between the solar options should first be clarified. Solar thermal applications are energy saving (reduction of electricity consumption) where radiation is converted to […]

A case study of climate variability effects on wind resources in South Africa

  South Africa is a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); and is committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 42% by 2025 [1]. Apart from the climate change question, the necessity for the expansion and tweaking of South Africa’s energy resource industry has been marked by the electricity […]