Context Increasing attention is being given internationally to the risks associated with unburnable carbon and stranded assets (UNEP 2015, IEA, 2014; Citi, 2015). Stranded assets are assets that “have suffered from unanticipated or premature write-downs, devaluations or conversion to liabilities” (Caldecott et al, 2014), arising from environmental regulation or other regulatory shifts, as well as market forces and other causes, including the falling costs of competing technologies and structural market decline. Citibank (2015) has estimated that the value of stranded… Read morePolicy Brief: THE IMPACT OF STRANDING POWER SECTOR ASSETS IN SOUTH AFRICA

No economic case for SA nuclear plan – research

There is no economic case to be made for a firm commitment to commissioning a full fleet of 9.6GW of nuclear power by 2030. This is the key finding in a research paper probing the potential risks and uncertainties of the commitment to SA’s proposed nuclear build plan. It reveals that South Africa should aim to have a flexible planning approach to adapt to changing electricity demand. The paper, by the University of Cape Town’s Energy Research Centre, compares this… Read moreNo economic case for SA nuclear plan – research

Climate change jeopardises electricity supply

By Inga Vesper Water shortages and a warmer climate could slash the efficiency of power plants in coming decades, meaning developing countries must prepare their power systems to cope, researchers warn. Using data on water-dependent power plants and climate change projections, scientists demonstrated that fossil fuel plants could see a 30 per cent drop in efficiency by 2070 due to lack of cooling water. This is because river flow in large parts of regions such as Africa, South Asia and… Read moreClimate change jeopardises electricity supply

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

Call made for major overhaul of SA’s electricity planning system

(C) creamer Media

South Africa’s prevailing electricity planning and investment paradigm has come in for sharp criticism from experts, who argue that a new, more responsive process is required to enable the country to adapt to changing circumstances, including changes to the demand trajectory. University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business professor, Anton Eberhard, who is also a member of the National Planning Commission, is a particularly strong advocate of reform. But he found broad-ranging support from various other energy specialists attending… Read moreCall made for major overhaul of SA’s electricity planning system

Study pours cold water on SA’s nuclear build plan

NEW National Planning Commission (NPC) modelling of South Africa’s energy demands says nuclear power should be delayed by years, and an immediate commissioning of new gas-generation capacity should take place to avoid rolling blackouts in the near future. The remodelling commissioned by the NPC signals the start in earnest of what will be a highly contested policy debate: whether South Africa needs and can afford nuclear power or not, and by when. The implication of the modelling is that no… Read moreStudy pours cold water on SA’s nuclear build plan

New socio-economic scenarios for climate analysis

We are very pleased to announce that a paper outlining a framework for a new generation of socioeconomic scenarios for climate change impact, adaptation, and vulnerability, and mitigation research has just been posted on http://www.isp.ucar.edu/socio-economic-pathways  As stated in the paper: This document presents a conceptual framework for developing new scenarios using a matrix approach. This approach provides the landscape within which a particular scenario can be located based on the state of human societies (SSPs); the degree of anthropogenic interference… Read moreNew socio-economic scenarios for climate analysis