REDIS Insight Analysis
Welcome to REDIS Update

The Renewable Energy Data and Information Service (REDIS) is now updated with new data up until April 2017. 
REDIS provides project data for 121 renewable energy generators, and detailed hourly electricity production data from 83 plants in operation, aggregated by province and technology, from April 2012 - April 2017. Data includes all renewable energy generators under the Independent Power Producer (IPP) programme, Eskom's generators, as well as public/private generators under Eskom's Wholesale Electricity Pricing System (WEPS) programme.

Shown data is now available for download. Click here for instructions on how to download data.

The REDIS team furthermore offers insights on the basis of data analysis. In our first insight analysis, we have combined data from REDIS with data from the new “Bioenergy Atlas for South Africa” funded by the Department for Science and Technology. The analysis - which is refered in the chart above, and presented in further detail below - shows that there is a significant untapped potential for biomass-based electricity generation in South Africa. In summary, while the currently installed biomass-capacity amounts to 84 MW, the new “Bioenergy Atlas for South Africa”
 indicates that the technical potential for biomass-capacity is above 3800 MW, corresponding to 45 times the currently installed capacity.

REDIS Insight Analysis
New data shows a significant untapped potential for biomass-based electricity generation in South Africa
Bio-energy is defined as energy produced from biomass either through direct use as fuel or after processing into liquids and gases.
In December 2016, the Department of Energy (DoE) launched the Renewable Energy Data and Information Service (REDIS). REDIS currently holds high-resolution project and production data from 121 renewable energy based electricity generators, of which ten (10) are biomass-based generators. Four (4) of these biomass-based generators are established under the IPP programme, while six (6) are industrial co-generators established under Eskom’s Wholesale Electricity Pricing System (WEPS). The ten (10) biomass-based generators have a combined electricity generation capacity of 84 MW.
In April 2017, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) launched the Bioenergy Atlas for South Africa that maps the potential for producing energy from a variety of biomass resources, including agricultural residues, pulp and paper mill residues, invasive species, fuelwood, solid waste, and other sources. According to the atlas, the total potential bioenergy resource amounts to 522 PJ per year of which energy crops represent 32% and invasive species represents 23%. The bioenergy resource is concentrated in Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, and Kwazulu Natal.

Under the assumption that the potential annual bioenergy resource is allocated for electricity production, and further assuming an average electrical conversion efficiency of 20% and a load factor of 85% (see textbox below), the identified bioenergy resource potential could support an estimated 3800 MW electricity generation capacity. 
In conclusion, our analysis that combines data from REDIS and the new Bioenergy Atlas for South Africa shows a significant untapped technical potential for biomass-based electricity generation, corresponding to 45 times the current capacity.
Visit REDIS Now!
Assumptions regarding conversion efficiency and load factor

The net electricity conversion efficiency depends on the specific technology, as well as on optional biomass refinery losses. In the 2015 report from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), which is providing assumptions for the Integrated Energy Plan and the Integrated Resource Plan, the suggested efficiency is 25% for conversion of biomass forestry residues to electricity, and 19% for conversion of municipal solid waste to electricity. Other sources state that if wood pellets or wood chips is used in existing coal-fired power plants, the conversion efficiency will be 1-2%-point lower than when using coal, corresponding to a conversion efficiency of 25% - 35% for existing plants. If the bioenergy resource is converted into bioethanol, biodiesel, or synthetic natural gas from gasification of solid biomass, the use of these products in electricity producing engines or turbines will result in net conversion efficiencies of 20%-30% including refinery losses. As such, an assumed average efficiency of 20% for bioenergy is suggested to be deliberately conservative, towards the lower end of the spectrum. A higher average efficiency would result in a higher estimate of the potential biomass capacity. 

The assumed average load factor of 85% is based on the 2015 EPRI report for conversion of biomass forestry residues and municipal solid waste. A lower average load factor would result in a higher estimate of the potential biomass capacity.

Department of Energy, The Renewable Energy Data and Information Service (REDIS).
Department of Science and Technology, The Bioenergy Atlas for South Africa.
The Danish Energy Agency, Technology Data for Energy Plants (2016).
The Danish Energy Agency, Technology Data for Advanced Bioenergy Fuels (2013).
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Power Generation Technology Data for Integrated Resource Plan of South Africa (2010). (2015 report currently not available online)
We are always eager to improve REDIS, and we want to serve you the best we can. If you are looking for data that you cannot find, or if you have questions to the presented data, then please contact us, and we will do what we can to meet your needs.

Click here for contact information and feedback

Thank you!
The REDIS Team
Department of Energy
192 Visagie Street, Pretoria
Unsubscribe    |    View this email in your browser