FIFI PETERS: The subsequent two weeks are going to be dominated by a complete lot of conversations round local weather change and the Simply Vitality Transition popping out of COP27 [the 27th UN Climate Change conference] at the moment below means in Egypt. We all know that almost all international locations are taking steps to maneuver away from fossil fuels – like coal as the first power supply – and into renewable power, primarily wind and photo voltaic.
To debate the position of fuel within the Simply Vitality Transition and expectations from COP 2017 at the moment below means, I’m joined by Wayne Glossop. He’s the ability programs engineer and senior enterprise growth supervisor at Wärtsilä. Wayne, thanks a lot on your time.
Let’s begin with COP, provided that it’s buzzing throughout all headlines or notifications coming in your cellphone or wherever you get your notifications from, the airwaves in addition to tv. What are you searching for at that convention?
WAYNE GLOSSOP: Good night, Fifi. Thanks for the chance to be right here. COP can be a nice alternative for lots of the developed nations to return, to step up and do good on the monetary commitments that they’ve been claiming for a few years till now, and truly assist out Africa and South Africa to transition to a 100% renewable power supplier, and assist Africa to display and be a pioneer on this new power revolution, if we will name it that.
As we all know, Africa is very well endowed with many renewable power sources – wind and photo voltaic. So we’re properly positioned as a continent to leapfrog the normal power journey that many developed nations have taken prior to now and present that despite the fact that we’re only a 3% emissions contributor as a continent on this planet, we will actually pioneer how this future power transition can appear to be for the world.
FIFI PETERS: You make the argument that in an effort to try this efficiently we have to have a look at fuel being a part of the equation. It’s a contentious concern for some, given the truth that fuel, whereas much less dangerous than the likes of coal, is just not as nice for the surroundings, within the arguments of some, as are wind and photo voltaic. So state your case for fuel in the principle findings of the research you’ve finished on it.
WAYNE GLOSSOP: I feel you nailed it appropriately with fuel being a contentious concern. We noticed that contentious concern actually not getting resolved within the discussions on the market available in the market. In order Wärtsilä we undertook to do an evaluation and we did it in a very clear method, utilizing a public-participation course of.
We modelled the complete South African energy system, and we needed to try to discover out the truth. Do we’d like fuel, and in that case what does this fuel appear to be?
I feel the principle message is that the primary goal is that we should be maximising our renewable power, photo voltaic and wind, so far as attainable. However to do this you want versatile applied sciences and there are two dominant versatile applied sciences that come out on a regular basis within the modelling for the least-cost power system – batteries, numerous batteries, and fuel, fuel energy.
So we see that we’d like roughly 9 gigawatts of fuel energy over the following 10 to 19 years. That is actually counter-intuitive since you’re considering, properly, to scale back our system prices and cut back the emissions of the South African energy system, we’re saying that we have to add what’s generally known as a comparatively costly fossil gas into the combo. However it seems that if you happen to add this one key ingredient into the power combine, you come out with a cleaner and cheaper energy system.
The best way that it does this, it gives what we dub ‘versatile peaking capability’ to the ability system, which is actually offering peaking assist to the system, together with renewable balancing – and there’s numerous seasonal assist as properly.
Then there’s a vital secondary perform, which I feel lots of people are likely to not ignore, however don’t absolutely acknowledge. That is what we name a ‘system contingency’ perform.
In our modelling, we modelled a few situations the place issues don’t go in accordance with plan, the place we as a rustic don’t roll out sure programmes or we don’t get the coal availability we count on on the ability system …
And when issues go incorrect that is the place fuel performs a vital position. So, for instance, if the Koeberg generator is down for an prolonged interval, six months, for no matter motive, fuel is the expertise that fills that hole for that six-month interval.
Beneath good situations it goes again to peaking form of load-capacity components. However when issues go incorrect, which they have an inclination to do, as we have now all foreseen within the final couple of years and months within the energy system, fuel is filling that hole to supply power safety to our energy system.
FIFI PETERS: How completely different is the perfect situation that you just’ve sketched out in your analysis that highlights the respective roles of all brokers within the Simply Transition, wind, photo voltaic, batteries or fuel? How completely different is what you’ve sketched out as a perfect situation from the present authorities plan on the desk?
WAYNE GLOSSOP: We modelled three situations. We modelled a deliberate world, which authorities outlined with the presidency within the IRP [Integrated Resource Plan], and we modelled a actuality verify, which is that some issues won’t occur on time, or they won’t occur in any respect. After which we modelled the proper world, the place we simply let the mannequin do what it desires.
The plans are literally very well on observe for what we see within the good world. I feel it simply wants extra.
So we do see extra fuel, extra versatile applied sciences [being] wanted to assist a better renewable development.
There are numerous good plans on the market to extend the quantity of renewable power, but when we don’t in parallel create or introduce the applied sciences that assist that development, we’re not going to attain our goal of a least-cost system and least emissions.
What we discovered within the mannequin is that right now coal and diesel are the first power balances for the ability system, so that you’ve bought a particularly soiled gas and a particularly costly gas.
If we don’t exchange that with one thing cheaper and cleaner, like fuel, we’re going to proceed to depend on these two applied sciences as we develop the renewables base, and we’re not going to see the emission financial savings we hope to see; we’re not going to see the price financial savings we hope to see that may be realised with numerous renewables on our energy system.
FIFI PETERS: All proper. Thanks a lot for breaking that down for us, and fairly just so. Wayne Glossop, the ability programs engineer and senior enterprise growth supervisor at Wärtsilä, has been stating the position and the case for fuel in efficiently attaining the Simply Transition to net-zero carbon emissions.