|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.