South Africa “does not have a shortage of generation capacity”

rpm

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South Africa “does not have a shortage of generation capacity”

South Africa does not have a shortage of generation capacity, says the Department of Energy, but a shortage of available generation capacity.

Delivering the keynote address on behalf of the minister of energy at the Africa Energy Indaba in Sandton on 17 February 2015, Dr. Wolsey Barnard, the department’s acting director general, said that the gap between energy supply and demand is small because so much of the capacity is off-line for maintenance or repair.

Eskom has a total generation capacity of 43 400 MW of which 4800 MW is currently unavailable. The utility holds 2000 MW as operating reserve and a further 8000 MW as an “unplanned outage assumption”, leaving 28 600 MW actually available.

Barnard said that the department’s focus is getting the off-line generation back in service as soon as possible so as to increase the reserve margin to safer levels and to prevent loadshedding.
 

grok

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Here's a thought for Dr. Wolsey Barnard ..

If you only have one braincell and it's unavailable you won't actually have a shortage of braincells you'll just definitely have a shortage of capacity to do any kind of rational thinking.

Another thought ..

Has any of your leader type lookalikes even considered the notion that maybe if you do planned maintenance in small little steps you won't be forced to do it in one large gulp when the SHTF?
 

me_

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It's what I've been saying all the time. We have more than enough generation capacity, but Eskom has very poor availability.
Typically from what I've found, older coal plants should have an availability of approximately 88% while Eskom is only managing 72%. This means that while a coal power station should be down for maintenance and unplanned outages for 1.5 months a year, Eskom's are down for 3.5 months a year...
In 2008 / 2009 when electricity demand peaked, Eskom had a reserve margin of 15%. This is widely considered the optimal level to make sure that there is enough capacity available for maintenance and unplanned outages - predicted outages of 1 day in 10 years. Since then, power usage has reduced and more has been added to the grid and reserve margin for last year (for SA as a whole) was reported at 32%...
Adding Medupi and Kusile will raise our reserve margin to close to 50%. The problem with reserve margin is this is additional generating capacity and capital costs that are being paid for, but not being used so they just add to the cost of electricity so we keep paying more for power stations that aren't used.
 

Jola

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It's like owning a scrap yard and saying that you don't have a shortage of vehicles :D
 

ellyally

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Ah, so its not that you can't supply enough electricity to meet the demand, its that you're unable to supply enough electricity to meet the demand. Thanks for clearing that up... crisis is over.
 

Skerminkel

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It's what I've been saying all the time. We have more than enough generation capacity, but Eskom has very poor availability.
Typically from what I've found, older coal plants should have an availability of approximately 88% while Eskom is only managing 72%. This means that while a coal power station should be down for maintenance and unplanned outages for 1.5 months a year, Eskom's are down for 3.5 months a year...
In 2008 / 2009 when electricity demand peaked, Eskom had a reserve margin of 15%. This is widely considered the optimal level to make sure that there is enough capacity available for maintenance and unplanned outages - predicted outages of 1 day in 10 years. Since then, power usage has reduced and more has been added to the grid and reserve margin for last year (for SA as a whole) was reported at 32%...
Adding Medupi and Kusile will raise our reserve margin to close to 50%. The problem with reserve margin is this is additional generating capacity and capital costs that are being paid for, but not being used so they just add to the cost of electricity so we keep paying more for power stations that aren't used.

The only sensible comment so far. The other's just started shooting from the hip because they read "government official" somewhere in the test.
Two questions:
1. What is the actual demand our network is/should be designed for?
2. Is the peak demand an annual average daily demand, a annual average peak daily demand (presumably not, because of pumped storage), or what?
 

Gordon_R

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There must be sufficient peaking capacity in SA (gas-turbine and pumped storage), otherwise we would have load-shedding every day between 4pm and 10pm!

In general peaking capacity (including hydropower) is the most reliable (but most expensive) type of generation. The fact that SA has shortfalls on some days only, indicates that the underlying causes are failures in base-load capacity, which is least reliable (but most economical) type of generation.
 
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