Picture: ASIA CHANG/UNSPLASH
Picture: ASIA CHANG/UNSPLASH

Katherine Brown, in "The Dying of the Light" (On My Mind, April 11-17), unfortunately does not tell the whole story about renewables.

Her 222c/kWh base cost for renewables must relate to the first and second bid windows, when there was no open bidding process and Eskom set the price. The tariffs awarded to projects for bid window one were, according to Anton Eberhard at the University of Cape Town, 276c for photovoltaic and 114c for wind. With the introduction of open bidding windows, the price had fallen to below 70c for wind and below 90c for solar in the fourth window.

Renewables plants built now will produce energy at half the expected cost of power generated from Medupi and Kusile (estimated to be R1.50/kWh).

In its latest public presentation, Eskom says renewables generate up to 2,000MW during the day and 1,000MW at night, from 4,000MW installed operating capacity. This is not negligible. And — very importantly — it’s all been funded by the private sector.

Renewables are cheaper than fossil fuels over the long term because of very low operating costs and zero input of raw materials, unlike coal-fired or nuclear power stations.

Paul McNaughton
Stellenbosch

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