Confirmed: Solar power much cheaper than nuclear and coal in South Africa

ponder

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After first rubbishing EE Publishers’ LCOE calculations for Medupi and Kusile, citing its own calculation of R0.71/kWh and R0.82/kWh for Medupi and Kusile respectively, Eskom’s head of generation, Matshela Koko, subsequently undertook to have Eskom’s and EE Publishers LCOE calculations independently reviewed.

However, after receiving EE Publishers’ detailed analysis of the differences between Eskom’s and EE Publishers’ methodology and assumptions, Eskom has since reneged on this undertaking, and ignored all efforts to proceed with the independent review it had proposed.

Did they use a decolonised methodology?
 

Pilgrim

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Baseload is needed, there is no getting away from that fact. Last month the entire state of South Australia went dark because they had ZERO baseload. Their wind generators cut out due to to high wind speeds and the supply line that linked them to Victoria's baseload electric network tripped. It took them more than a day to get their power working again.

Having said that, I agree that baseload does not need to be coal or nuclear. The big question is what is an economic baseload alternative? Pumped storage and concentrated solar power can provide this, along perhaps with tidal power.

Those need to become cheaper for solar to really take over from coal or nuclear.
 

richjdavies

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Baseload is needed...the supply line that linked them to Victoria's baseload electric network tripped

The problem there isn't base-load etc. it's that the grid failed! You'd still have a blackout if rather than having wind somewhere, you just had a big nuclear/coal plant over in Victoria... so the blackout really is due to the grid 'tripping' rather than how the power was generated.

SA basically is 90%+ base-load right now AND it has lots of pumped storage etc. So adding quite a lot of solar/wind really won't make much difference. Looking at Eskom's tariffs I'm sure they've got more of a problem with Winter and early-morning peaks, rather than not having enough base-load, it's actually that they don't have enough fast moving 'peaking' plant.

I'm not a fan of concentrated solar, it's just an expensive folly if you ask me. Just chuck up more cheap solar PV and wind, and store the excess in pumped storage. Beyond that, have a few gas-turbines powered by Moz gas or fracking gas; not these big, huge, slow to change and deadly to the locals coal-powered stations.
 

itareanlnotani

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Baseload is needed, there is no getting away from that fact. Last month the entire state of South Australia went dark because they had ZERO baseload. Their wind generators cut out due to to high wind speeds and the supply line that linked them to Victoria's baseload electric network tripped. It took them more than a day to get their power working again.

Having said that, I agree that baseload does not need to be coal or nuclear. The big question is what is an economic baseload alternative? Pumped storage and concentrated solar power can provide this, along perhaps with tidal power.

Those need to become cheaper for solar to really take over from coal or nuclear.

No, the entire state of SA went dark, as they had a severe amount of Wind, and the transmissions lines (multiple ones) went down.
Nothing to do with Wind Generation, and everything to do with Wind Damage.


https://www.theguardian.com/austral...ia-blackout-explained-renewables-not-to-blame
 

NarrowBandFtw

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So ... they are using the bid prices given to a known highly corrupt state to represent "legacy" energy production and comparing it to the bid price seen in other countries to represent "renewable" energy.

Whatever your position on legacy vs renewable, that is an idiotic comparison. It's like comparing the cost of NKandla to the cost of a sandbag house built by a community in America: yes it is comparing a traditional method to a newer one, but it is NOT a proper comparison until you negate the cost of corruption ...
 

system32

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Baseload is needed, there is no getting away from that fact. Last month the entire state of South Australia went dark because they had ZERO baseload. Their wind generators cut out due to to high wind speeds and the supply line that linked them to Victoria's baseload electric network tripped. It took them more than a day to get their power working again.

Having said that, I agree that baseload does not need to be coal or nuclear. The big question is what is an economic baseload alternative? Pumped storage and concentrated solar power can provide this, along perhaps with tidal power.

Those need to become cheaper for solar to really take over from coal or nuclear.
The reason for the outage in SA had nothing to do with base load or renewable.
The misinformation wrt base load was subsequently documented.
The reason the SA grid when down was because the wind blew over a number of pylons cutting of 40% of the feed resulting in the grid tripping.
SA power outage: How did it happen?
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-28/sa-power-outage-explainer/7886090

The grid would have tripped regardless of where the power came from.

sa-pylon.jpg

Same thing would happen in ZA, if 20 pylons from Mpumalanga blew over, Gauteng grid would trip as the remaining stations would not be able to maintain the load.
 

Drunkard #1

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Typical ecomentalist smoke and mirrors. Coal provides power when it's needed. Solar provides power when it's available. Did these idiots add the cost of a billion batteries to their solar price? No, they're just interested in pushing their own agenda.

And if we listen to them, we're ****ed.
 

Jola

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The molten salt solar solutions can provide power until after the evening peak (ie the 17:00-21:00 arriving home consumption).

Pumped storage only works if you have enough water, that is starting to look dubious in ZA.

As always, the solution is a number of approaches simultaneously.

But nuclear should probably be excluded because of the cost.

Also, Eskom have shown themselves to be hopelessly incompetent at large project management. I just cannot see them successfully implementing large nuclear solutions. The cost, and risk, would be too high.
 

Swa

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So ... they are using the bid prices given to a known highly corrupt state to represent "legacy" energy production and comparing it to the bid price seen in other countries to represent "renewable" energy.

Whatever your position on legacy vs renewable, that is an idiotic comparison. It's like comparing the cost of NKandla to the cost of a sandbag house built by a community in America: yes it is comparing a traditional method to a newer one, but it is NOT a proper comparison until you negate the cost of corruption ...
It's just a different take based on actual bid numbers, meaning true cost to own. The actual costs of solar has been dealt with many times before and if you take a power station over its whole lifetime the cost of renewables is significantly, not just 40% cheaper. But whatever is used the pro-nuclear brigade will continue to come up with excuses and misinformation.

Typical ecomentalist smoke and mirrors. Coal provides power when it's needed. Solar provides power when it's available. Did these idiots add the cost of a billion batteries to their solar price? No, they're just interested in pushing their own agenda.

And if we listen to them, we're ****ed.
If we listen to the pro-nuclear junkies we're screwed. Batteries are not the only storage option when it comes to solar or wind and you probably want to store the energy more directly instead of converting to electrical and then chemical energy again.
 

BigAl-sa

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If we listen to the pro-nuclear junkies we're screwed.

Unfortunately for you, even the renewable energy resources are nuclear based. They rely on the sun, which is nuclear based, and if the ozone layer (and for that matter the earth's magnetic poles) fail, we are fooked.
 

Cougar94

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I am waiting for Zumnobyl (SA version of Chernobyl) when they build the Nuclear plants we are all screwed.
 

Drunkard #1

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It's just a different take based on actual bid numbers, meaning true cost to own. The actual costs of solar has been dealt with many times before and if you take a power station over its whole lifetime the cost of renewables is significantly, not just 40% cheaper. But whatever is used the pro-nuclear brigade will continue to come up with excuses and misinformation.


If we listen to the pro-nuclear junkies we're screwed. Batteries are not the only storage option when it comes to solar or wind and you probably want to store the energy more directly instead of converting to electrical and then chemical energy again.

We're screwed by nuclear because it'll be corrupt and bankrupt the country. The Russians are perfectly capable of building a cheap, high quality power station that'll serve this place well - The anc government isn't capable of buying it honestly.

As for storing energy. Good luck with that. Like, really, show me how you hope to store enough using molten salt or pumped storage at a competitive cost, because renewables are worth **** without it.
 

Jola

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We're screwed by nuclear because it'll be corrupt and bankrupt the country. The Russians are perfectly capable of building a cheap, high quality power station that'll serve this place well - The anc government isn't capable of buying it honestly.

As for storing energy. Good luck with that. Like, really, show me how you hope to store enough using molten salt or pumped storage at a competitive cost, because renewables are worth **** without it.

Even the Russians or Chinese would not be able to build a reliable and cost-effective nuclear power station using SA labour.

Maybe the Chinese could do it by shipping in all the labour. That would, however, make the locals restless. So no solution to this problem.

As for avoiding corruption - IMO no chance, and that kills nuclear.

And, yes, energy storage is a problem. But you only need a few hours worth.
 
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Swa

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Unfortunately for you, even the renewable energy resources are nuclear based. They rely on the sun, which is nuclear based, and if the ozone layer (and for that matter the earth's magnetic poles) fail, we are fooked.
Lol, you know what is meant by nuclear.

We're screwed by nuclear because it'll be corrupt and bankrupt the country. The Russians are perfectly capable of building a cheap, high quality power station that'll serve this place well - The anc government isn't capable of buying it honestly.

As for storing energy. Good luck with that. Like, really, show me how you hope to store enough using molten salt or pumped storage at a competitive cost, because renewables are worth **** without it.
Until we have something like Fukushima or Chernobyl, that was Russian as well.

Energy storage isn't currently the problem. Most of the overall consumption occurs during the day, we almost always have either sun or wind. Molten salt provides most of its energy after sunset. Peak energy usage is high but overall not more than during the day. Pumped storage is also not the only option for storage, there's been good advances when it comes to flywheel storage as an alternative to batteries.
 

Drunkard #1

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Even the Russians or Chinese would not be able to build a reliable and cost-effective nuclear power station using SA labour.

Maybe the Chinese could do it by shipping in all the labour. That would, however, make the locals restless. So no solution to this problem.

As for avoiding corruption - IMO no chance, and that kills nuclear.

And, yes, energy storage is a problem. But you only need a few hours worth.

I have to disagree regarding the labour - South African construction companies know how to handle them, and they'll be the one's doing the bulk of the grunt work. Maybe the Chinese will ship over all their own plant, machinery and labour, but everyone else will just hire a local contractor to pour concrete and brick up walls. Once you're past that level, it's not as labour intensive, so one or to Russian engineers won't spook anyone.

The corruption, we're agreed on.

Now energy storage... Do you know how much you need to store for "just a few hours"? The numbers are all available, and the math is really simple. Eskom is producing 40 000MWp? That's 40GJ/s! What's the energy density of molten salt? Not nearly enough to provide that sort of energy. Pumped storage? Where's the water gonna come from, and where are you gonna put it? You need millions of kL.

No, renewables are DOA. Nuclear isn't feasible. The best this place can hope for is cleaner coal.
 
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Jola

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I agree with the cleaner coal sentiment.

As for Eskom project and labour management, IMO they have clearly proved that they cannot manage projects or labour.

Just look at their track record WRT Medupi and Kusile.

And nuclear power stations would be vastly more complex, so it is just NO !!!
 

f2wohf

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I'd actually like to see the CSIR calculations, the inclusion of the inverter's replacement every 10 years and the 25 years lifespan of the panels.

I was actually working on a business model of a solar plant today and we can reach only far higher numbers.

REIPP round 3 reached R1.65/kWh so around 0.11USDc and 87c/kWh in round 4 where a lot of them are suspected to be almost not profitable, at least for the beginning...

The trick is that their tariff paid by Eskom is adjusted by the inflation which is insane with a 6/7% inflation, in 10 years they'll cost Eskom R1.55/kWh while the price of coal plants and nuclear will have been almost stable. I let you
imagine the disaster waiting to happen when they reach year 15 or 19...
 
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