SA’s power grid could be made flexible enough to accommodate significant levels of variable renewable energy at a moderate additional cost of up to 2030, a study published this month has found. The study debunks the claims by former Eskom executives that the country’s baseload energy cannot rely to a substantial extent on renewable energy because the sources of its generation, the sun and wind, are unpredictable. Many other countries have successfully incorporated significant levels of solar and wind energy into their power grids. The study was prepared for the Department of Energy and Eskom by international engineering consultants who were commissioned and paid by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit as part of the South African-German Energy Programme. The study — "Assessing the impact of increasing shares of variable generation on system operations in SA: A flexibility study" — investigated the raised flexibility requirements of the South African power syst...

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