What lies behind Africa’s lack of access and unreliable power supplies?

Afrobarometer, a pan-African, non-partisan research network, recently released areport highlighting Africa’s electricity challenges. Power shortages can hamper socioeconomic development, but they also have implications for health and education. The Conversation Africa’s energy and environment editor Ozayr Patel spoke to Peter Penar, one of the researchers. How serious is the electricity crisis in Africa? One of the most glaring disparities is that across the 36 countries surveyed, 94% of urban dwellers have access to the electric grid, whereas only 45% do… Read moreWhat lies behind Africa’s lack of access and unreliable power supplies?

Majuba coal silo collapses and pushes grid to the edge

1-2 Nov 2014 A coal silo at Majuba power station collapsed, which seems to lead to disruption with 1800 of its 3842 MW. Majuba had problems with coal seams earlier, but its 3843 MW capacity had been running at 97% average availability over the last three years; according to Eskom. Eskom announced 8752MW “unplanned outages” last week. With another 1800 MW at Majuba out, about 25% of its power stations are broken Anton Eberhard has suggested commission on inquiry as… Read moreMajuba coal silo collapses and pushes grid to the edge

IRP update makes a step-change to informed decision-making

The 2013 update of IRP 2010 is very good technically – and more than that. In several respects, I think it is a significant improvement on the previous electricity plan, moving from presenting a single ‘preferred plan’ to decision-making under uncertainty. Nuclear and concentrating solar power (CSP) are to be reconsidered, in relation to actual demand, shale gas and cost (a threshold for nuclear, and learning for CSP). To explain which document I’m referring to: The Integrated Electricity Plan (IRP… Read moreIRP update makes a step-change to informed decision-making