Wind, solar can supply bulk of South Africa’s power at least cost, CSIR model shows

by | Sep 8, 2016 | Climate Change, Energy, Green Building | 0 comments

There has been much discussion in recent months about the work done by the Council for Scientific and IndustrialResearch Energy Centre into the role thatrenewable energy could play in South Africa’s future electricity mix. In an extensive interview with Engineering News Online, Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz outlines the key findings of the research and unpacks the possible implications. The article follows:

The dramatic fall in the cost of supplying power from wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) plants has moved the globalelectricity supply industry beyond a critical “tipping point”, which leading energy scientist Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemzsays is irreversibly altering the operating model, with significant implications for sun-drenched and wind-richSouth Africa.

Instead of renewable energy playing only a modest and supportive role in the future supply mix, research conducted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)Energy Centre shows that, having the bulk of the country’s generation arising from wind and solar is not only technically feasibly, but also the lowest-cost option.

“The notion of baseload is changing,” Bischof-Niemz tellsEngineering News Online. Over a relatively short period, renewables have become cost competitive with alternative new-build options in South Africa, dramatically altering the investment case.

Read full story: Engineering News

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