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SAWEA welcomes Eskom’s updated Transmission Development Plan

transmission development
November 01, 2022

by nfdeklerk 0 comment

SAWEA welcomes Eskom’s updated Transmission Development Plan

Industry organisation the South Africa Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has welcomed State-owned utility Eskom’s announcement, during the Transmission Development Plan (TDP) public forum on October 27, that about 53 GW of new additional generation capacity is expected to be added to the grid up to 2032.

“This far exceeds the 30 GW proposed in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019, which once again illustrates the importance of updating the IRP to reflect the new realities of the energy sector taking into account the deterioration of the energy availability factor (EAF) of Eskom’s existing coal-fired power plants,” SAWEA emphasises.

“It is unclear as to the proportion of this new capacity that will be allocated to renewable energy and wind energy specifically, though the cumulative wind energy allocation is stipulated to be 23% of Eskom’s total generation capacity by 2031, or 19 548 MW,” explains SAWEA CEO Niveshen Govender.

The association highlights two key obstacles that need to be overcome to achieve these ambitious targets, namely, unlocking the transmission network through urgent investment in the strengthening and expansion of the grid, especially in wind-rich regions of the country; and a coherent policy framework from national and provincial government, which aligns to the goal of ensuring a clean energy transition, while improving energy security.

“It is critical to ensure grid constraints are alleviated as soon as possible in order to allow for forward planning by industry, government and utility providers, since viable projects in grid-constrained regions of the country have not been able to be developed,” notes Govender.

Eskom Transmission group executive Segomoco Scheppers acknowledged that the development of the transmission network in the next five years would be critical to ensuring the energy security of the country; however, SAWEA says there is no clear indication as to the source of the R72.2-billion investment required to achieve that objective.

“To achieve long-term energy security, it is imperative that Eskom and government be willing to partner with the wind industry and others in the private sector to alleviate grid constraints, create a reliable transmission network and develop new clean energy generation facilities,” Govender emphasises.