The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has found that renewable energy helped combat load-shedding in the first quarter of 2019.
The CSIR said that variable renewable energy (VRE) helped to relieve pressure on the South African power grid and was a major factor in avoiding further load-shedding.
Causes of load-shedding during 2019 have been cited as unplanned plant failures combined with the loss of imported power from Mozambique.
This resulted in the most intensive load-shedding ever experienced in the country, with 595GWh shed in March alone.
The CSIR noted that renewable energy contributed 2,975GWh (5.3%) to the South African power system in the first quarter of 2019, proving instrumental in combating the severity of load-shedding.
“Without the variable renewable energy fleet, load-shedding stage 5 and 6 could have been invoked,” the CSIR said.
The graph below details the effect of renewable energy on the load-shedding crisis in South Africa in Q1 2019.