The importance of South Africa as an energy storage market

Could South Africa be an important energy storage market in the making?

A change in president could signal a new era for energy storage in South Africa. New leader Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to restart a previously held back renewable energy programme and provide a more friendly environment to wary foreign investors.

Previous leader Zuma was forced to resign under the mounting pressure of corruption allegations involving state-owned electricity company Eskom. The resulting scandal had caused local renewable energy developers selected for South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Program (REIPPPP) to be stuck in limbo. Eskom’s financial troubles, now out in the open, mean it has set aside plans for new nuclear facilities and will focus on renewable sources for future generation.

A boost in renewables naturally increases the demand for energy storage. However, at current levels of grid penetration the grid is not yet feeling the stress, and adoption could be delayed. The fact that 85% of South Africans are powered by the grid, unlike many other African nations, lowers the urgency of adoption.

Residential consumers, however, are looking to become more energy secure. Blackouts have been a frequent problem across the country and richer households have invested in battery storage. The commercial and industrial (C&I) sector are also looking to protect themselves from power outages. Electricity infrastructure in its current state is not able to meet demand.

The South African market is not only bright for battery storage. South Africa has the world’s greatest capacity of molten salt storage. Concentrated solar power (CSP) plants, built under the REIPPPP, have been developed with molten salt thermal storage attached. Four such plants currently exist, with megawatt-scale solar generating output and some with gigawatt-hours of thermal storage capacity.

The path for outside developers has not yet been established. The change in leadership, however, turns a new page in South Africa’s way of governance and managing its finances – a page that is favourable to clean energy and energy storage.

Read the original article

If you want to know more about this and other topics directly from end users of energy storage technologies join us at one of these annual events: The Energy Storage World Forum (Grid Scale Applications), or The Residential Energy Storage Forum, or one of our Training Courses.

LATEST ARTICLES

Product Development: Embracing product safety and compliance

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT: EMBRACING PRODUCT SAFETY AND COMPLIANCE Recent safety incidents on storage plants have raised concerns about the fire safety of battery storage systems. Such events are extremely rare compared to the cumulated global deployments of energy storage systems, which have reached more than 27 GWh by end of 2020 (Wood Mackenzie 2021). However, for…

Read More

Ultracapacitor UPS (U-UPS) for voltage dips and micro-interruptions

Power interruptions are the most frequent power supply problems with wide-ranging consequences for industry. The causes of these interruptions include short-circuits in the distribution grid, lightning strikes, the connection and disconnection of power plants as well as volatile energy producers such as wind and solar. Because technologies and production processes are becoming increasingly complex, the…

Read More

Energy Storage Systems: the role of an Integrator

Simplifying BESS deployments by mastering their associated risks With the introduction of Battery Energy Storage Systems ‘BESS’, a new role has been created on the value chain. It is the role of a BESS integrator. The role of an integrator can be misunderstood at times or blended with other roles at other times. This is…

Read More

★REVIEWS

“Probably the most interactive and well organized storage event on the calendar.”

★★★★★

Sales Director, S&C

“Great topics, competent speakers, good networking: keep it like that.”

★★★★★

TLC & SCADA Manager, FRI-EL

“High scientific content, well targeted, perfect organization.”

★★★★★

Expert Technical & Governance, Elia

Excellent networking event. The sponsorship was well worth it.”

★★★★★

Manager, ATL

View More

x