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It has long been known that coal from South African mines has different characteristics from that mined in the northern hemisphere and other parts of the world. Boilers in use in this country were designed for northern hemisphere coal, and the use of locally mined  coals has effects on their  performance which to date have only been the subject of surmise… (more)

To safeguard the delivery of energy supply from coal fired power stations, (CFPS) a stock back up tonnage of coal is required at the station. This stock is generally referred to as a stock pile (SP) whether measured in tonnage (SPT) or in days (SPD). The total stock reflects the stock of coal (in tonnes) at hand, plus the replenishments (such as from stathes [e.g. bunker type] or direct-supply); therefore the total stock is equivalent to the SPT. Essentially, the SPD reflects the daily SPD variation on the stock, based on the daily usage and replenishment… (more)

Extensive tests undertaken by CommodasUltrasort, Coaltech, Isambane and Exxaro of CommodasUltrasort’s dual energy X-ray transmission (DE-XRT) sorter at Arnot Colliery have proven that X-ray sorting is a viable dry-process technique for the de-stoning of coarse, raw coal. The XRT sorter is capable of processing up to 150 tons per hour of coarse raw coal and of effectively removing the bulk of the contaminant stone resulting in a significant improvement in the quality of the coal… (more)

by Mark Botha and Chris Yelland, EE Publishers

The debate around hydraulic fracturing in the Karoo is an issue of national and public interest. Shale gas extraction has the potential, some say, to change the face of the country’s power industry and improve the lives of millions of South Africans. Public opinion, however, is a powerful force well-known to have hampered the nuclear industry in the past… (more)

At long last, the cabinet has approved and published the national Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity, IRP 2010. Now this just has to be passed by parliament and published in the Government Gazette. Let’s hope there will not be further delays, and that a measure of certainty will prevail so that the electricity sector can get down to work. But what is IRP 2010? Why is it important? And what exactly does it say?… (more)

by Chris Yelland, managing director, EE Publishers

At long last, the cabinet has approved and published the national Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity, IRP 2010. Now this just has to be passed by parliament and published in the Government Gazette. Let’s hope there will not be further delays, and that a measure of certainty will prevail so that the electricity sector can get down to work. But what is IRP 2010? Why is it important? And what exactly does it say?… (more)

China is rich in coal and water resources, which are unevenly distributed throughout the country.  Coal deposits are predominantly in the north and northwestern regions, while water resources are mainly in the southwestern region.  In contrast, Southeastern China is densely populated and has extensively developed industry and agriculture, but is deficient in coal and hydro resources… (more)

The IRP 2010 20 year electricity capacity plan is crucial towards determining South Africa’s long-term electricity demand, as well as how this demand should be met in terms of generating capacity, type, timing and cost.  At current projected GDP rates, South Africa is looking at another 120 – 140 years of coal consumption, which is twice as long as uranium will last. Within the next 150 years, or at least within the next 80 years, renewable energies will need a substantial investment in order to meet electricity demand and pick up the eventual shortfall of uranium and coal… (more)

by Mike Rycroft, Mark Botha and Chris Yelland, EE Publishers
 
It is well known that the price of electricity in South Africa has been too low for years. The generation capacity crisis in 2008 prompted a review of Eskom’s build programme and associated funding plan. The original expectation was that there would be a short-duration adjustment to bring prices to the correct level, and thereafter electricity prices increases would follow inflation. But the adjustment did not develop in line with expectations, and price increases much higher than inflation are expected for many years to come… (more)

by Chris Yelland, managing director, EE Publishers

In recent months and at various venues Eskom has been lobbying and punting the view that a new dispensation and enabling environment is required for the utility to secure the cheap and abundant supplies of coal needed for its current and future fleet of coal-fired power stations. When pressed for details, Eskom officials become a little coy. But stripping aside the euphemisms, what Eskom is saying is that, in the light of higher global demand and world market prices for even the low-grade coal used in Eskom power stations, the utility is having difficulty matching these prices and contracting on a voluntary basis with the coal miners to secure its medium and long-term coal supplies… (more)

by Mike Rycroft, editor of Energize

This article was first published in Critical Thinking Forum, a supplement to the Mail & Guardian, www.mg.co.za.

Three announcements in the last few weeks have created new hope that the long-awaited renewable energy (RE) programme will get underway, namely: the request-for-information on renewable energy projects from the Department of Energy (DoE); the announcement by the minister of energy of the establishment of a solar park in the Upington area; and the release of the draft integrated resource plan for electricity (IRP2010) for public comment… (more)

by EE Publishers staff reporter
 
Various media have already reported Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll as saying that Anglo would consider investing in a power station if necessary. Fin24 has reported sighting documents showing that Anglo is being considered as an investor in Kusile, the R142-billion coal-fired power station being built near Delmas, in which Eskom is seeking a 30% to 49% private equity partner, although this has since been denied. Now the Anglo website has officially announced its study for the construction of a new coal-fired power station using circulating fluidised-bed combustion technology. What will be next?… (more)

Coal has been the mainstay of economic development in South Africa for more than two centuries. However, the future of coal has now come into question worldwide, and serious consideration must be given to both the weaknesses and future opportunities for this commodity… (more)

Almost 90% of the world’s primary energy is provided by the burning of fossil fuels: coal, oil and gas. However the era of using these cheap fossil fuels is coming to an end. At current rates of consumption reserves will last around 80 years, but with the projected increases in demand they will run out much sooner. History will show that fossil fuel use was just a 300 year blip starting around 1800. Unfortunately for mankind, this burning of fossil fuels releases CO2 into the atmosphere, causing global warming and climate change… (more)

Despite setbacks for the industry over the last 18 months, the fundamental facts affecting the future of nuclear power have not changed, according to Dr. Rob Adam , CEO of NECSA. Speaking at a SANEA presentation, Dr. Adam mentioned the cancellation of the Eskom nuclear build program, withdrawal of the letter of intent from Eskom to purchase PBMR reactors, the restrictions on PBMR finance, and the collapse of the price of uranium as factors which have created a very negative outlook for nuclear power in South Africa… ( more)

Nuclear power has been coming back into the international news during the past year. Some of the impetus for this has been a spin off from the international climate change debate, in which fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas have been targeted for emitting carbon dioxide. Fossil fuels have to emit carbon dioxide, as the fundamental heat equation is the combustion of carbon, which is carbon plus oxygen, which equals heat and carbon dioxide, no way around that… ( more)

There has been renewed speculation about future power stations in South Africa since December 2008, when Eskom, after receiving tenders from two vendors for new nuclear power stations, decided not to place an order. South Africa has a critical shortage of generation capacity. In a healthy electricity grid the reserve margin should be about 15%. The reserve margin quoted by Eskom is 8%, but in practice it could be as low as zero… ( more)

Climate change, energy supply and the future for Southern African coal – the focus of global attention is now firmly placed on the twin problems of climate change and the supply of energy at acceptable prices. Energy use and climate change are inextricably linked,  Almost 90% of the world’s primary energy is provided by the burning of fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas. But the more we consume fossil fuels, the more carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere.  However the era of using these cheap fossil fuels is coming to an end… ( more)

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