South Africa: Variable Renewable Energy Prevented Stage 5 Load-shedding

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  • The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have found that renewable energy assisted in relieving pressure on the constrained South African power system during load shedding in the first quarter of 2019.
  • The research firm noted in a statement that variable renewable energy (VRE) contributed valuable energy and assisted in avoiding going further than stage 4 loadshedding in Q1 2019.

There is clear significant economic value for businesses and government in avoiding further loadshedding in addition to the inconvenience factor of loadshedding for households. The country experienced the most intensive period of load shedding yet in Q1-2019, with 769GWh of load shed (1.3% of system demand), 595GWh of which was shed in March 2019 alone. This is significant when compared to the 1,325GWh of load shed throughout the entire 2015.

CSIR Principal Engineer Dr Jarrad Wright said: “During loadshedding periods, VRE contributed 357GWh from VRE in Q1-2019. This is significant and shows that there is real value in having this capacity producing during these periods of shortage”.

Overall, VRE contributed 2,975GWh (5.3% of system demand) in Q1-2019 with instantaneous contributions during load shedding periods being up to 2.3GW, while averaging 1.3GW.

“Without VRE, we may have needed to envoke stage 5 and 6 load shedding,” Wright added.

Read the full CSIR report here.

Author: GBA News Desk/ESI-Africa Contributor

This article was originally published on ESI Africa and is republished with permission with minor editorial changes.


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