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Opportunity Issue 100

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Opportunity magazine is a niche business-to-business publication that explores various investment opportunities within Southern Africa’s economic sectors and looks to provide its readers with first-hand knowledge about South African business. Opportunity also looks to present South African business to international markets that may have interests in investing in South Africa. The publication is endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).

ENERGY Advances in

ENERGY Advances in batteries and power storage could change the game Jan Fourie, Sub-Saharan Africa’s GM of renewables giant, Scatec, explains how exciting new developments in batteries and power storage are enabling dispatchable power from renewable sources in efficient, costeffective ways. This will make it possible to achieve the goals set out in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). In 2020, South Africans experienced the most intensive load-shedding to date. These crippling power cuts, which amounted to a staggering 856 hours, almost 10% of available hours, cost the economy billions of rands. Poor performance at several power stations, including Kusile and Tutuka, resulted in a rapid depletion of Eskom’s emergency generation reserves. Furthermore, South Africa’s overall capacity to produce energy has plummeted by nearly 10% over the past decade and there are predictions of a shortfall of up to 6 000 megawatts over the next five years. To address this, government’s progressive stance towards renewables, as outlined in the 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), commits to a shift away from coal towards renewables, with a planned 25% of all power being drawn from renewables by 2030. Jan Fourie, Sub-Saharan Africa’s GM of renewables giant, Scatec, believes that the urgency for cleaner power generation has been a catalyst for the rise in the uptake of renewables and the advances in battery storage technology. “Renewables in SA are now more cost-effective and quicker to establish than ever before and with no shortage of state support, have engendered a fertile and attractive investment landscape. Solar and wind already provide twice as much power to the national grid as nuclear power, and we can now expect swift progress towards the target of 25% of South Africa’s total energy supply to come from renewables by 2030, as stipulated in the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE)’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP)," says Fourie. A Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) has been announced to find new sources of 20 | www.opportunityonline.co.za

ENERGY Credit: Scatec power in a short period of time. Fourie explains that because power generation needs to be balanced with demand within the grid in real time, the RMIPPPP insists that all new energy produced must be fully dispatchable, at the request of grid operators, to meet market needs when and where they may arise. Batteries and storage advances “While renewable energy has not been dispatchable until now, exciting new developments in batteries and power storage have now enabled dispatchable power from renewable sources in efficient, cost-effective ways," he says. Because power from renewable sources like photovoltaic (solar panels) and wind turbines is intermittent by nature, renewable power plants tend to oversize their operations in order to create an excess in supply. This ensures that they can always meet Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019 Procurement of generation capacity until 2030 Coal Nuclear Hydro-electricity Storage Gas/diesel Other distributed generation, co-generation, biomass and landfill technologies Solar photovoltaic Wind 1 500MW 1 850MW 2 500MW 2 088MW 3 000MW 4 000MW 6 000MW 14 400MW President Ramaphosa announced in 2021 the lifting of the limit of being able to create power without having to apply for a licence to 100MW. Many mining companies and companies in sectors which produce a lot of biomass such as sugar and timber, welcomed the announcement. www.opportunityonline.co.za | 21

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