Smart Electricity Project – Introductory presentation

EGI-SA 12/12/12


Planning and building a modern infrastructure for South Africa


The Electricity Governance Initiative of South Africa (EGI-SA) is a collaborative partnership between a number of civil society organisations and is also more informally associated with other civil society groups. Our primary aim is to build a roadmap towards a positive electricity future for South Africa, by:

  • Producing analyses and research to inform decision-making processes,
  • Building the capacity of civil society to engage in these processes,
  • Advocating for transparent, inclusive governance that results in legitimate decisions that uphold public interests.

Out of our collaborative explorations, we determined the need to develop an innovative electricity plan that could be used to deepen and widen public understanding of the issues, and inspire greater engagement in determining our electricity future.  Out of this, Smart was birthed with much work over the last few months.

We would like to emphasise that what we are presenting today is a small taste of our preliminary findings, which are meant to draw attention to the fact that we have found sufficient evidence to call for an urgent revision of the IRP 2010. We plan to continue discussions with a broad spectrum of role players to continue to develop our findings, and we are working on finalising concrete recommendations to be ready early in 2013.

Here is the full text to go with the presentation below:

Smart Electricity presentation – text – 29Nov2012

Presentation: Smart Electricity presentation 29Nov2012

1 thought on “Smart Electricity Project – Introductory presentation

  1. The apparent absence of contributers to the paper with real “keeping the lights on” grid operation experience is concerning.

    In the absence of a sufficient supply of available reliable back up electricity generation, economic storage of renewable energy is key to unlocking RE as a major baseload energy source. (Natural gas fired back up generation might be the answer here). No matter how distributed RE generation is utility operators will always be faced with the very real statistical probability of periods occuring when the availibility of RE energy is too low to meet demand. Regarding CSP with thermal storage – which gives an additional 6 hours or so of energy once the sun has set- what happens if unexpected cloud moves in for a couple of days?

    Secondly- perhaps the projected future demand is over stated in the IRP- but better to have a reasonable over supply than be caught short- making up for shortfall when the lights have gone out is enormously expensive to rectify and economically damaging in general. Better safe than sorry. Within reason.

    Third- the cost and complexity are not to be underestimated of providing an electricity grid that can reliably handle very large power swings as RE generation shifts to and fro across the country due to the vagiaries inter alia of the wind, and of cloud movement.

    We are truly sitting in the horns…

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