South Africa’s energy mix will be much cheaper with renewables-study

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South Africa’s energy mix will be much cheaper with renewables-study

South Africa’s energy mix will be over 10% cheaper than power generation from new coal and nuclear plants, a new study has found.

The survey conducted by the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies at the Goethe-University Frankfurt, concludes that there will be no need for the addition of new coal or nuclear power stations beyond what is already installed.

Jonas Hörsch a researcher from the institute says that 70% of energy from renewable sources were found to be cost-optimally integrated using flexible gas generation and the expansion of several transmission corridors. A 95% CO2 reduction leads to a moderate 20% cost increase, he observes.

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“The open-source nature of the model and restriction to freely available data encourages an accessible and transparent discussion about the future South African energy system, primarily based on renewable wind and solar resources,” says  Hörsch.

The study also underscores South Africa’s fortunate position of having access to high-quality wind and solar resources promising energy production costs well below the ones projected for future installations of thermal generation.

Horsch however notes that the latest Integrated Resource Plan by the South African Department of Energy (DOE) proposes only a slow uptake of renewable energy sources and bases its electricity plan on new Nuclear and Coal power stations.