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In the wake of the Fukushima disaster wind power has increased in importance in energy transition. The problem, of course, was never a lack of wind but the dependence of most societies on the old energy economy, and some have only too happily continued to operate their old nuclear plants… (more)

India has been making rapid strides in the addition of wind power supported governmental policies and regulations by the central and state regulatory commissions. Although it is widely recognised that wind energy is the cleanest form of energy, there are perceptions which often put hurdles in the path of quick addition of the wind power into the power system… (more)

by Chris Yelland, EE Publishers

On 23 August 2011, EE Publishers hosted an open panel discussion and debate in Midrand, entitled “Renewable Energy in South Africa – going backwards or forwards?” At the debate, key players in the renewable energy (RE) sector of South Africa covered the background on where the country finds itself now, as well as the road ahead in the implementation of the ambitious renewable energy targets detailed in the national integrated resource plan for electricity, IRP 2010 – 2030. This will involve the installation of some 9200 MW of wind generation capacity, 8400 MW of solar photo-voltaic (PV) capacity, and 1200 MW of concentrating solar plant (CSP) capacity by 2030… (more)

Providing portable renewable energy to remote villages and other areas that do not have access to the power grid is a huge challenge. Remote villages without access to the power grid must rely on diesel or petroleum generators for electricity, which means they have power only when they can get fuel… (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)

Wind is a variable resource and as such is generally regarded as not being capable of contributing to firm power. A probabilistic approach that takes both demand  variation and wind generation profiles into account shows that wind can  be used as a firm power source… (more)

by Mike Rycroft, editor of Energize

This article was first published in Critical Thinking Forum, a supplement to the Mail & Guardian,

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)

Policy supporting the inclusion of embedded generation in the future generation mix in South Africa implies that the number of generators connected to networks will increase significantly. Embedded generators introduce a new paradigm in the electric power industry and change some of the assumptions on which networks have been designed and operated, particularly with respect to voltage control and protection. What are the impacts of embedded generation on the distribution networks? How can they be counteracted?…  (more)

Unlike wind power converters, central solar inverters bear huge potential for technical optimisation. At the moment, photovoltaic systems bear the biggest potential for increasing the efficiency of solar panels as well as of the overall system design… (more)

As the amount of grid connected wind power increases, the impact of wind’s intermittency and variability on the grid is becoming more and more of a concern. To counteract this, wind needs a “dancing partner”, some form of storage that can level out the fluctuations and provide a more regular flow of energy. Pumped water storage (PWS) is seen as a solution, but can it meet the requirements?… (more)

What on earth does a long-forgotten statistic about the use of Danish wind turbines in the 1917 – 1918 winter of World War I have to do with energy use today? And, more pointedly, why am I using it to start this article, which is being published in South Africa… (more)

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has just published a report that highlights the growing problem of wind energy curtailment, which occurs when wind plants are required to or choose to reduce their generation output.  Based on case studies, the report concludes that congestion on the transmission grid caused by inadequate transmission capacity is the primary cause of nearly all wind curtailment… (more)

2010 has started and we expect it to be an exciting year! Wind Power, the official conference of the African Wind Energy Association, has already received tremendous interest from over 100 companies and organisations in more than 20 countries. Wind Power Africa, held on 12-14 May 2010, will consist of a number of plenary and break-away sessions over 3 days… (more)

A solution to improve wind power reliability is interconnected wind power.  In other words, by linking multiple wind farms together it is possible to improve substantially the overall performance of the interconnected system (i.e. array) when compared to that of any individual wind farm. The idea is that, while wind speed could be calm at a given location, it will be noncalm somewhere else in the aggregate array… (more)

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