How to Keep Renewable Energy Sustainable in South Africa

South Africa’s power and energy sector has dramatically evolved in the last 10 years, probably more so than any other industry. The Just Energy Transition (JET) as it is known around the world, is causing a global move away from fossil fuels and South Africa is following suit. The

The South African government has already introduced the independent power producers’ (IPPs), changed regulation around carbon emissions, and brought about a sudden fall in renewable tariffs. All of this is a great boost for organisations in the renewable energy sector.

What is Renewable Energy?

When electricity is sourced from natural processes, it is called renewable energy. This form of energy cannot be depleted and is constantly being replenished, unlike coal, oil and natural gas. Renewable energy sources range from the sun’s rays, geothermal heat, wind, ocean’s tides, water, and various forms of biomass. The beauty of renewable energy is that it is a clean, sustainable form of power, unlike fossil fuels that need to be drilled, mined, or burned to create electricity – at great expense to the environment and the sustainability of the planet.

While there are five types of renewable energy, namely wind, solar, hydroelectric, biomass, and geothermal, in South Africa we predominantly use wind, solar, and hydroelectric energy.

Wind Energy

Wind energy is electricity that is created from wind that turns a generator. The generator produces electricity that is stored in a battery or can be deployed over a power distribution system.

Solar Energy

Solar energy uses radiation from the sun to generate electricity. This radiation is converted into electricity with solar photovoltaic (PV) devices, or solar cells. PV cells can power small devices, and – when grouped together – can power an entire house. Some PV power plants have extensive PV arrays that cover many metres to generate power for thousands of homes.

Renewable solar is the “new king,” according to the International Energy Agency, (IEA), in its World Energy Outlook 2020 published at the end of last year, coming in ahead of non-renewable coal for the first time.

Hydroelectric power

According to experts, South Africa has moderate hydroelectric power with a number of small hydroelectric projects dotted around the country, with the largest hydroelectric plant at the Drakensberg Pumped-Storage Facility. There are around 6 000 to 8 000 potential sites for hydroelectricity in the country below 100 MegaWatts with KZN and the Eastern Cape offering the best options for these projects.

To be Sustainable, and Most-Affordable

South Africa has world-class wind and solar energy resources, and ever-improving technology with higher hub-heights and rotor diameters greater than 170m. However, in order to match the rising demand in renewable energy, competition amongst service providers is growing, and it is often the most attractive tender that lands the contract.

With the ultimate goal of the country being to give its people and businesses access to affordable, reliable power in a bid to kick-start the post-Covid economy, renewable energy organisations are desperate to use any strategy or resource available to keep their costs down, remain competitive, and expand operations in this dynamic landscape.

Schedule Maintenance and Stay Competitive

The benefits of scheduling maintenance of pumps and motors before they need repairs is well-documented. For the wind and solar energy organisations in South Africa who are using every possible angle to gain the upperhand, scheduled maintenance could be the advantage they need to stay a step ahead of the rest.

The benefits of scheduled maintenance:

  • Eliminates equipment failures
  • Potentially adds years of service to motors
  • Prevents excessive and / or unexpected down-time
  • Improves safety at the workplace
  • Ensures uninterrupted revenue

Schedule Maintenance in April and Save!

CAW has over 50 years’ experience in the electro-mechanical maintenance and repairs of pumps and motors. We are passionately committed to keeping you up and running through effective, expert motor and pump maintenance.

Book maintenance of your motors and pumps in April to activate a discount on your next invoice.