Cogeneration - a viable power source for Durban
EThekwini Municipality in partnership with the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) co-hosted a workshop to discuss potential energy "cogeneration" in the KZN region. Cogeneration is the combined generation of electricity and heat and has significant potential in industrial cities like Durban where heat is often required for manufacturing process.
The National Department of Energy has indicated its intention to issue a request for proposals for the acquisition of up to 800 MW from cogeneration and the workshop was intended to prepare businesses and government for this new renewable energy opportunity.
Derik Coetze , Program Manager at SANEDI said "The program was within the framework of the co-operation between the governments of South Africa and Germany in the energy sector, the South African Department of Energy (DoE) and the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) the South African – German Energy Program (SAGEN)".
He explained "The program aims to increase investments in the energy efficiency field, through the development of a market for energy efficiency service providers (ESCos). A key focus will be the market development for cogeneration which is the simultaneous generation of electricity and heat and to introduce these efficient technologies in the commercial and industrial sectors with an overview of international best practices".
Keynote speaker at the workshop was Dr. Ruth Egyptien from STEAG, in Germany. Dr Egyptien holds a PhD in Bioprocess Engineering, and is employed by STEAG as Project Manager. Her experience includes International Project Management for Consulting Services, Project Development as well as Project Execution.
Dr. Egyptien outlined the co-generation development process and cautioned project developers to carry out energy audits to determine if the project will be economically and technically viable before investing in designing of a project. She explained that obtaining an agreement from the energy service provider for connection to the electrical grid can be challenging.
Dr. Egyptien highlighted successful co-generation projects done worldwide and in Africa including a very successful project that was done in Uganda in the sugar industry. She directed service providers to the following website for guidance when designing a co-generation project. " Co-generation is a commercial project that is economically and financially viable, Africa has great potential for co-generation in most industries" said Dr Egyptien.
Abrie Cronje, Engineer at eThekwini Electricity said "eThekwini Municipality is the first Municipality in South Africa to accept applications for grid tied energy generation. Developers are required to complete an application form and sign a Purchase Power Agreement (PPA) with the Municipality." eThekwini is authorised to purchase electricity from embedded generators at the Mega Flex rate - the rate at which Municipalities are charged to purchase electricity in bulk from Eskom. EThekwini currently has 5 PPA's in place.
For more information on embedded generation in Durban, please visit the embedded generation section of the eThekwini Energy Office website