SA needs to change to smart grid
Transitioning the grid is key to establishing an efficient, affordable and healthy electricity system that benefits all, write Dirk de Vos and Nicole Löser
One of Eskom’s objections to signing up additional renewable energy independent power producers (IPPs) is the alleged expense of strengthening the grid in areas in which many IPP projects are situated. This objection raises deeper issues about the grid — how it is managed and developed, and what this means for the future development of renewable energy in SA. Transitioning the grid is key to establishing an efficient, affordable and healthy electricity system that benefits all. Delaying this to advance further coal and nuclear power would be to the severe detriment of the public. The current design and layout of the transmission grid is an outcome of Eskom’s mostly coal-fired generators. The grid is designed to take power from these generators — situated primarily in Mpumalanga and the Waterberg in Limpopo where the coal is located — and to transport it to the country’s main load centres. Most renewable energy development in SA has taken place in designated areas known as renewable ...
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