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S.Africa: VRE prevented stage 5 loadshedding

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have found that renewable energy assisted in relieving pressure on the constrained South African power system during loadshedding in the first quarter of 2019.

The research firm noted in a statement that variable renewable energy (VRE) contributed valuable energy and assisted in avoiding going further than stage 4 loadshedding in Q1 2019.

This is according to the results of a new analysis released by the CSIR this month. Read the report analysis here.

There is clear significant economic value for businesses and government in avoiding further loadshedding in addition to the inconvenience factor of loadshedding for households. Read more: CSIR encourages SA residents to take control

The country experienced the most intensive period of load shedding yet in Q1-2019, with 769GWh of load shed (1.3% of system demand), 595GWh of which was shed in March 2019 alone. This is significant when compared to the 1,325GWh of load shed throughout the entire 2015.

CSIR Principal Engineer Dr Jarrad Wright said: “During loadshedding periods, VRE contributed 357GWh from VRE in Q1-2019. This is significant and shows that there is real value in having this capacity producing during these periods of shortage”.

Overall, VRE contributed 2,975GWh (5.3% of system demand) in Q1-2019 with instantaneous contributions during load shedding periods being up to 2.3GW, while averaging 1.3GW.

“Without VRE, we may have needed to envoke stage 5 and 6 load shedding,” Wright added.