Development and maintenance of requisite transmission infrastructure has been made necessary in South Africa as renewable energy has taken centre stage in its expanding power generation capacity. The essentials in supplying quality power to customers in a cost-effective manner are switch gears, transformers, and reactors.
OEMs will be assisted in these components in reducing manufacturing costs whilst increasing competitiveness through local research and development, manufacturing, and supply chains. There will be a stable shift in procurement strategy of utilities that will centre on the total cost of ownership (TCO) as against considering capital costs alone. Setting up a supply chain based on business activities could assist in the delivery of cost and value advantages to utilities.
In South Africa, the operational expenses of Eskom have been increasing repeatedly with an adverse effect on customers in the form of rising tariffs. Decline in electricity sales has affected profit margins as a result of distributed generation, renewable energy, and a shift in economic activity.
It is essential for Eskom to improve its transmission infrastructure and equipment in order to ensure business sustainability to minimise losses and ensure optimal performance of equipment through the adoption of latest technologies and materials.
Huge interest has been created amongst private investors by REIPPPP in South Africa, with major power projects focusing on solar photovoltaics (PV), concentrated solar power (CSP), wind, and biomass energy. In 2016, renewable energy accounted for 9.7% of the energy mix. The government has decided that 3,725 MW is to be generated from renewable energy as stated in the IIRP 2010-2030 under the REIPPP programme.