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Presentation: South Africa’s IRP and Eskom restructuring

Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz delivered a presentation on South Africa’s IRP and Eskom’s restructuring at the RMB’s SA Investment Forum in London, England, on March 6, 2019. Click Link Below to View the Presentation

Transition Talk

If there are more jobs in renewables, why are coal miners so unhappy?

As outlined previously, an electricity system made up of solar photovoltaic (PV) plants, wind farms and flexible generators will employ at least 30% more people than a comparable energy-equivalent coal fleet (see the Transition Talk column in the February 22-28 edition of Engineering News). This net jobs advantage is, however, disguised by the geographically disbursed nature of renewable-energy investments. Click to Read Full Article

More Transition Talk Columns

Are there really more jobs in coal than in renewables?

There is considerable support in South Africa for the notion that a transition in the electricity system from coal to renewable energy will trigger a jobs bloodbath at both Eskom and the Mpumalanga coal mines. The opposition to renewables is underpinned partly by the notion that there are more jobs in coal than in renewables. A detailed analysis of the job numbers, however, suggests quite the opposite. It points to there being at least 30% more jobs in a fleet comprising solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind farms when compared with an energy-equivalent coal fleet. Click to Read Article

Will unbundling Eskom ensure a sustainable electricity system?

That Eskom needs to be restructured is no longer in question. In its current form, the organisation poses a systemic risk to the South African economy and is ‘too big to fail’. The real question is what form this restructuring should take. For sure, the generation assets need to be separated from the transmission system operator (TSO) and from the distribution unit. But is that enough? Can the generation assets be kept in one legal entity? There is the risk, for instance, that the animal instincts of the separate board and executive team presiding over a 40 GW-plus behemoth could prove impossible to tame. In the absence of the moderating influence of Eskom’s prevailing unified leadership structure, the generation tail could truly end up wagging the power-system dog and undermining both the TSO and the regulator. Click to Read Article

Looking for more?

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South Africa’s energy transition has become a highly topical, emotive and politically contentious topic. Taking a systems perspective, this book offers an evidence-based roadmap for such a transition and debunks many of the myths raised about the risks of a renewable-energy-led electricity mix. This book will be of great interest to energy industry practitioners, as well as students and scholars of energy policy and politics, environmental economics and sustainable development.

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