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Focus on ‘core underlying issues’ to tackle load-shedding crisis – EIUG

Ending the current restrictions to the addition of new generation capacity and addressing Eskom’s deteriorating generation performance are key to arresting intensifying load-shedding, the Energy Intensive Users Group (EUIG) asserts. CEO Fanele Mondi said in a statement the recent illegal industrial action had escalated the crisis but stressed that the “core underlying issues” remained Eskom’s poor generation performance and the prevailing restrictions on the addition of new generation capacity.

Eskom attributes three stages of load-shedding to wildcat strike

Embattled power utility Eskom has attributed three stages of the current load-shedding, which is being implemented daily at between Stage 4 and Stage 6, directly to the illegal strike under way at varying levels of intensity across its coal fleet. Speaking against the backdrop of a resumption of wage talks with unions on Friday, CEO André de Ruyter reported that 2 709 MW of capacity was unavailable as a direct result of the wildcat industrial action, triggered by a recent deadlock in wage talks.

Enviro dept to reconsider authorisation for Kendal ash dump life extension

An application to appeal the rejection of an environmental authorisation for Eskom’s Kendal power station to extend the life of its ash dump to 30 years has been set aside by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) for reconsideration.

The Kendal power station applied for the extension of life of its ash disposal facility, but it was rejected in April 2021, following which Eskom, in May 2021, lodged an appeal against the rejection as per requirements of the Appeals Regulations.

Construction of Egypt’s first nuclear power plant can now start

Construction of the first unit (that is, reactor) of Egypt’s El Dabaa nuclear power plant (NPP) has been licenced by the Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority (ENRRA), World Nuclear News has reported. The permit was issued to the country’s Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA). Construction of the first of the four planned reactors at the NPP, which will be only the second to be built on the African continent (after South Africa’s Koeberg NPP), can now begin. “[W]e were granted the permit to build the first unit of the first Egyptian nuclear power plant,” highlighted NPPA board chairperson Amged El-Wakeel. “Today, we etched in gold Egypt joining the ranks of countries building [NPPs] after over 70 years waiting for this dream to come true.”

Renewable power costs rise, just not as much as fossil fuels

It’s costing more these days to build and run solar farms and wind turbines, but they’re still cheaper than power plants that rely on fossil fuels. The costs of renewable plants are rising after years of declines due to soaring prices for materials, shipping and labour, according to a BloombergNEF report. But costs for coal and natural gas-fired plants are increasing even faster as global energy prices surge following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As a result, new onshore wind and solar projects cost roughly 40% less than coal or gas plants built from scratch—and the gap is widening.

Report indicates growth in global market

Research company ResearchAndMarkets’ 2022 report shows that the global battery energy storage system (BESS) market is expected to grow from $4.4-billion in 2022 to $15.1-billion by 2027, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.9%. The growth of this market is mainly driven by the increasing demand for grid energy storage systems owing to ongoing grid modernisation, growing penetration of lithium-ion batteries in the renewable energy sector, and the rising trend of low-carbon and less fossil fuel-based economies and the ongoing renewable energy revolution.

Best practices for small businesses

Experienced engineers are crucial in such a critical and technically-minded sector as engineering, and it is consequently not surprising that the industry players place a premium on the employment of those who have the years under their belts, says engineering firm Zimile Consulting Engineers CEO Shawn Gama.

Batteries and decentralised power seen as key way to boost security of supply

Industry body the South African Energy Storage Association chairperson Mikhail Nikomarov emphasises the importance of a decentralised power system and the benefits it can provide, and how this can be supported using battery energy storage systems (BESS) in the local market. “Energy storage through batteries doesn’t have to be centralised like other forms of storage such as pumped storage hydropower.”