Electricity service providers globally are experiencing rapid change driven by disruptive technologies that are transforming traditional energy market structures. Distributed energy resources like wind, solar, and battery storage, supported by their increasing cost-competitiveness with fossil-generation and changes in policy and consumer demands, are forcing utilities as well as municipalities in Africa to find ways to produce, transmit and distribute electricity in a sustainable and efficient manner, or risk losing customers.
“The ability to provide reliable electricity contributes vastly to improved healthcare, better education, eMobility and increased economic development,” explains Joseph Mahendran, Black & Veatch Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Manager. “Electric utilities have to embrace smart integrated energy infrastructure that can drive greater efficiency from existing resources, while preparing for the new energy systems of the future.”
Elsewhere in April, Sparks Electrical News focusses on MCCs and Motor Protection, Cables and Cable Accessories, as well as Lighting.
Personality of the Month
Pratley, a truly South African success story, was established in 1948 by George Pratley. Drawing from 70 plus years of experience, the company has filed over 350 patents worldwide and is involved in the manufacturing and marketing of brand leading electrical cable termination products to global markets. Today, the company is still very family-orientated, with George Pratley’s son, Kim, and grandsons, Andrew and Charles, taking the company forward. Sparks Electrical News spoke to Andrew Pratley about the company’s involvement in the electrical industry.
How battery storage is changing the renewable energy game
The mass adoption and implementation of solar energy in South African homes and businesses has been rapidly increasing over the past few years. But, going completely ‘off grid’ has so far been held back by the expense of storing power from renewable sources. But this is changing, as the technology is available, and becoming more affordable, for dramatically reducing the reliance on state utility, Eskom, for electricity in South Africa.
Working knowledge with Terry Mackenzie Hoy
This month Terry Mackenzie Hoy discusses how, at this time of load shedding, the authorities switch off largish blocks of load and switch them on again. In general, energising and de-energising a circuit where the load is a few megawatts is no big deal, yet so-called surges and spikes on a power system, which actually occur very irregularly, become more frequent and damaging when the supply authority is switching large blocks (tens of megawatts) of load.
The April 2019 Buyers’ Guide lists manufacturers and distributors of products and services motors and drives.