gas power

Reliable Supply in the Real World

A recent study by Meridian Economics titled: “Resolving The Power Crisis Part B: An Achievable Game Plan To End Load Shedding”, succinctly captures some of the key characteristics, and realities, of gas power in South Africa. The study describes gas (alternatively, diesel) as primarily a provider of peaking capacity and recognizes that there is an urgent need to consider the addition of 1.35GW of thermal peaking capacity, preferably in the form of ICE (internal combustion engine) technology to be built by 2024 as an ‘insurance’ should there be a delay in the other measures proposed. If we translate this into load factor numbers, a gas plant serving both the ‘peaking’ and ‘insurance’ functionality could experience load factor ranges of 5-35% as is currently experienced by the (supply constrained) diesel fueled OCGT’s (open-cycle gas-turbines). A random week taken from Eskom’s data portal confirms this as per the image below.

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