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2013 – Issue 4

SA’s nuclear option and global trends

Worldwide use of nuclear energy is expected to grow at about 2.5% a year over the coming decades, with the developing world to contribute much of this – thus South Africa’s plans for nuclear...

Why grid connected PV can be optimal

The impact of utility scale photovoltaic facilities on grid stability can be favourable if done properly. ESI Africa spoke with vice president of product management for First Solar, Mahesh Morjaria, to see how this...

Where to for coal electricity in South Africa?

In the medium term the trajectory for steam coal usage in South Africa is upward with the giant Medupi and Kusile power stations due to add 9.7 GW of capacity, but the longer term...

State control, free markets and electricity

Experiments in state control, such as South Africa’s attempt at a so-called developmental state, usually lead to inefficiency and limited progress. In South Africa, one sees it in a landfill gas project that had to...

Global study on smart grids

By Antonio Ruffini, Editor, ESI Africa International energy think tank Vaasa ETT has produced the Smart Grid 2013 Global Impact Report that analysed 200 projects, the top 30 of these in detail. The report was commissioned...

Understanding lithium-thionyl chloride batteries

As many engineers will know, the battery industry has not yet achieved the perfect battery or rather cell technology. In almost every choice there is always a compromise to be made when selecting the...

Data centre energy efficiency

Data centres have become a core element in human activities; every major enterprise will have one and energy can account for up to 75% of the running costs of these facilities. According to projections based...

Diversifying Mauritania’s electricity sector

Mauritania has an installed capacity of almost 356 MW and rural electrification of less than 5%. Africa hosts some large and sparsely populated countries whose installed electricity generation capacity is under 500 MW, the power...

Boost for Sierra Leone electricity capacity

Sierra Leone has an installed electricity generation capacity of 92 MW, but it has ambitions to increase this to 1,000 MW over the next five to seven years. Sierra Leone’s hands-on minister of energy and...

The prospects for underground coal gasification

Underground coal gasification has been undergoing pilot trials for some 50 years, but no commercial operations exist – however the potential excites because it could change the prospects of the 83% of global coal...

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