Jasper solar project in SA versus Medupi

onlinepaul

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Interesting! I wonder what the comparison of the running costs, maintenance costs, life span etc would look like.
 

Drunkard #1

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Jees, world's most biased reporting.

Cost per kW:

Jasper - R 30 208 Cost of PV panels (rule of thumb) - $ 1 000
Medupi - R 21 875
My 5kW genny - R 1 700
Turnkey contract for a Russian nuke - R don't know, but I think it was cheaper than Medupi

Cost per kWh (running costs only):

Jasper - R0,55
Don't know the rest, but a journalist <cough, cough> should have found out.

Also, Jasper doesn't work at night [duh], so it's nothing more than a feel-good project for the greens.
 

Arthur

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PV panels don't go much beyond 20-25 years. Then good for the landfill (horrible) or for producing more CO2 to melt 'em down.
 

Jakes147

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And with an efficiency of +-20% you would effectively only get about 20MW over time. Whereas with coal you will have almost 99% of the power available at all times for the first 20 odd years(Eskom maintenance failures not taken into account).

As long as the PV doesn't interfere with your base load stations there is very good place for solar in the mix. By interfere I mean having so much solar that you have to cycle your large coal and nuclear stations up and down to compensate for the varied output from solar and wind. This cycling causes increased maintenance and reduced lifespan for base load stations.
 
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shogun

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Jees, world's most biased reporting.

Cost per kW:

Jasper - R 30 208 Cost of PV panels (rule of thumb) - $ 1 000
Medupi - R 21 875
My 5kW genny - R 1 700
Turnkey contract for a Russian nuke - R don't know, but I think it was cheaper than Medupi

Cost per kWh (running costs only):

Jasper - R0,55
Don't know the rest, but a journalist <cough, cough> should have found out.

Also, Jasper doesn't work at night [duh], so it's nothing more than a feel-good project for the greens.

Well the one major benefit is that you don't need to spend billions in coal mining to feed the solar plant. I'd love to see a running cost breakdown for a plant like Medupi (coal mining included) vs the running costs for the equivalent amount of PV (including grid storage (perhaps redox batteries) for the potion of power that needs to be kept for night time usage).

I totally see space for investments like this. It doesn't have to be an "either / or" scenario, and we definitely have enough day time demand to make these puppies work full tilt without storage.

I don't think anyone in their right mind would say that we need to only build solar, but it will definitely be a great addition to the grid. To call them feel-good projects for greens is very short-sighted.
 

twhitehead

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Why does the article compare construction costs, but omit to point out that one power station runs on free sunlight, whereas the other one uses coal that has to be mined. Where is the construction cost of the mine, the transportation cost of the coal, the environmental cost of the CO2 being produced etc?
 

furpile

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The power produced by solar can also be used for the pumped storage schemes to run the pumps during the day, and then use that water to generate electricity during peak evening times. So it is definitely not a waste. And until Eskom is back on a 15% power margin and the country has no more power restrictions (could be 10 to 20 years) no additional power is a waste.
 

krycor

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Why does the article compare construction costs, but omit to point out that one power station runs on free sunlight, whereas the other one uses coal that has to be mined. Where is the construction cost of the mine, the transportation cost of the coal, the environmental cost of the CO2 being produced etc?

Simple.. Because coal power stations are still cost effective for a countries needs albeit with profit along the supply chain when they already had coal mines in place. It's a cheap abundant energy resource basically albeit messy.

SA is an odd case though, we have profit taking happening everywhere now as everyone wants their piece of the pie in typical SA fashion lately. Maybe that our new thing? In the past it was hard working and pulling off improbable things.. Nowadays I think it's taking a cut no matter what :-(
 
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KingRat1

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Construction costs of solar per Mw is 30 % more. Running costs will be a lot less so it should prove more economical in its 20 year life expectancy. But then you need to replace it. Improving technology and economies of scale will reduce solar costs over time.
 

torgo

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So, do we use candles at night when the sun doesn't shine? or when the cloud cover passes over the panels - will we be shed?
 

boerseun

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Germany learnt their lesson when it comes to renewable energy. Don't put that **** on your grid! Their grid s teetering on the verge of collapse and to make up for the shortfall when the sun goes bye bye, last year the amount of brown coal they burnt was the highest in 20 years. I hope the greens take note of that.
 

shogun

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So, do we use candles at night when the sun doesn't shine? or when the cloud cover passes over the panels - will we be shed?

There is plenty of space for daytime only generation at this point. No one is saying only go solar. What they are saying is that there is plenty of space for it in the mix, and that it makes sense. Your argument holds no water in the current energy environment, so take the blinkers off already.

If we ever get to the point where PV (and / or wind) get to a larger % of the supply, then grid storage like redox flow batteries and the like will have to come into play.
 

gregmcc

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Medupi puts out 50x more power than the solar panels so if you multiply the construction costs and time to build by 50 then the power station wins hand down :p
 

sparticus

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Medupi puts out 50x more power than the solar panels so if you multiply the construction costs and time to build by 50 then the power station wins hand down :p

Jaa and it costs 36x more only. It just takes a lot longer to construct though , 11 years !!! Thats a long time to build something
 

Petec

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Germany learnt their lesson when it comes to renewable energy. Don't put that **** on your grid! Their grid s teetering on the verge of collapse and to make up for the shortfall when the sun goes bye bye, last year the amount of brown coal they burnt was the highest in 20 years. I hope the greens take note of that.

Germany shut down their nukes and tried to shut down a lot of their coal, and go totally green. Real hard to do.

As long as you have the Nuke/Coal guys in the one camp and the Greens in the other, we will always have hassles. It's all about sustainable growth and development and working together. Look at the technological advancements made in "green" energy the last few years. That was because of the vested and collective interest in the technology.

Now that "green" is mooted, development will stagnate at worst.

We need a long term program of cutting over and world wide roll out. But there needs to be political will.
 

SilverNodashi

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Just goes to show, coal is still the cheapest form of generating electricity. Solar will probably take another millennium to be cheaper than traditional ways of generating electricity.

And, at what cost is it a "greener" solution? How much electricity / carbon is wasted in the manufacturing and implementation process of this solar plant alone?
 

Wraitholme

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Jaa and it costs 36x more only. It just takes a lot longer to construct though , 11 years !!! Thats a long time to build something

The solar plant is massively cheaper (and simpler, and safer) to run. Taking into account the Medupi cost overrun, the solar plant will already be cheaper in the first few years of its operational time.
 

alexandergrahambell

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I often wonder why the so-called "green" types never object to their beloved ecosystems being rendered effectively sterile by these thousands of solar panels. What happened to their "biodiversity" mantra? What about all the foliage that could still be absorbing CO2 that was eradicated to make space for all these panels? Did they perhaps burn it?! Then what about all the (coal-fired?) energy that goes into making these panels? How far were they transported using diesel-fuelled ships and trucks? Do the solar protagonists really take all these things into account when comparing high energy-density coal with their "eco-friendly" and "sustainable" energy dreams? Fusion energy has to come one day. In the meantime why not use what is readily available in the ground to fuel the economy that is needed to bring that day closer?
 
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