microhydropower.net, your internet portal on (micro)hydropower
menu powered by Milonic
Google
  Web microhydropower.net   
log in
You are here: Comments and remarks to Wim Jonker Klunne

 
Hydropower in South Africa

( )


There are two major river systems in South Africa - the Orange (including its main tributary, the Vaal River) which flows westward into the Atlantic Ocean and forms part of South Africa's border with Namibia, and the Limpopo, which flows eastward into Mozambique toward the Indian Ocean and forms part of South Africa's border with Botswana and Zimbabwe. Besides these, there are many smaller rivers in the southern part of the country that flow southward into either the Indian or Atlantic Ocean.


source: http://www.fossil.energy.gov/international/Africa/safrover.html





Current status
 
 

Licensed Capacity
MW
Maximum power produced
MW
Gross energy Sent out
MWh
Nett Energy Sent out
MWh
Own use - private consumption
MWh
Load factor
%
Eskom Gariep
360
379
747860
747860
 
22.5
Eskom Vanderkloof
240
253
847922
847922
 
38.3
Eskom Colleywobbles
42
na
Eskom First Falls
6
na
Eskom Second Falls
1
na
Eskom Ncora
2
na
Municipalities Lydenburg
2
2
6000
6000
 
34.2
Municipalities Ceres
1
1
413
413
 
8.6
Municipalities Piet Retief
1
1
2900
2900
 
33.1
Private Friedenheim
3
2
14484
14484
1041
73.7
source: http://www.ner.org.za/industry/industry_generation_statistics.htm#hydro
 

Potential

South Africa has an average rainfall of 500mm, which is low by world standards. This, combined with the seasonal flow of the country’s rivers and frequent droughts or floods, limits opportunities for hydropower. The country’s potential for hydropower is concentrated in a few areas along the eastern escarpment where there are 6,000 to 8,000 potential sites.

Table 2 reflects an overall assessment of all hydropower types in South Africa, taking into consideration both conventional and unconventional approaches. Unconventional hydropower development can take place in both rural and urban areas of South Africa by means of tapping hydropower from irrigation canals, bulk water supply pipelines, deep mining undertakings, etc. To date, there is practically no account of significant unconventional hydropower development in South Africa with the exception of the mining industry, which is using hydropower for conversion into mechanical energy.

The extent of investigation conducted leads to the conclusion that the present installed hydropower in South Africa reached a capacity of 2,267 MW, generating on average annually about 4,368 GWh. This represents about 2,3% of the total energy output in South Africa.

In the past, the theoretical hydropower potential of South Africa was estimated at some 8,360 MW or 54,925 GWh per annum at a 75% of loading. As can be seen from Table 2, the estimate of firm potential (i.e. an estimate based on reliable input sources and extensive research) for hydropower development in South Africa, stands at 12,160 MW, which is about 45% higher that any other previous estimate. However, the major component of this new estimate is a potential for development of seven pumped storage sites investigated as firmly feasible by ESKOM.

It is important to acknowledge that the firm macro and micro hydropower potential of South Africa is 5 times bigger than the presently installed hydropower capacity.

Table 2: Total Capacity and Potential for All Hydropower Types

Hydropower Category and Size

(MW, Kw)

Hydropower Type
Installed Capacity

(MW)

Potential for Development
Firmly Established

(MW)

Additional Long-Term

(MW)

Pico

(up to 20 kW)

Conventional
0,02
0,1
0,2
Unconventional
-
-
60,0
Micro

(20 kW to 100 kW)

Conventional
0,1
0,4
0,5
Unconventional
-
-
3,3
Mini

(100 kW to 1 MW)

Conventional
8,1
5,5
3
Unconventional
-
-
2
Small

(1 MW to 10 MW)

Conventional
25,7
27
20
Transfers
-
25
5
Refurbishment
-
11
-
Subtotal for small/mini/micro and pico hydropower in South Africa
33,92
69
94
Conventional macro hydropower (> 10 MW) Diversion fed
-
3 700
1 500
Storage regulated head
653
1 271
250
Run-of-river
-
120
150
Subtotal for renewable hydropower in SA
687
5 160
1 994
Macro (large) (> 10 MW) Pumped storage
1 580
7 000
3 200
Total for macro and small hydropower in SA
2 267
12 160
5 194
Macro (large) (> 10 MW) Imported hydro
800
1 400
35 000 (+)
GRAND TOTAL FOR ALL HYDROPOWER
3 067
13 560
-
Source: Baseline Study – Hydropower in South Africa (2002)

The table indicates that some 5,160 MW of additional renewable hydropower can potentially be exploited from rural and urban hydropower resources, for either electrical or mechanical energy conversion. Although it is unlikely that this hydropower potential will be ever fully exploited, increases in the price of electricity and various other local and international influences may initiate the process that some of this untapped hydropower will be gradually utilised. Nevertheless, appropriate incentives and suitable educational programmes can certainly contribute to speeding up the process.
  The potential for microhydropowrer has also been investigated by a

Hydropower sites in South Africa in operation
large scale
mini hydro
Pumped storage
Collywobbles (42 MW) Ceres (1 MW) Drakensberg (1000 MW) (external link)
Gariep (360 MW) Densa (500 kW) Palmiet (400 MW) (external link)
Vanderkloof (240 MW) First Falls (6 MW) Steenbras (180 MW) (external link)
Freidenheim (3 MW)
Glenwilliam (1.5 MW)
Hectorspruit (1100 kW)
Kaapmuiden (Stentor estate) (750 kW)
Lydenburg (3 MW)
Malalane / Lomatipoort (1 MW)
Ncora (2 MW)
Piet Retief (1 MW)
Second Falls (11 MW)
Troske (500 kW)
Other hydropower sites in South Africa
sites in dis-use
new developments
watermills
Barberton (1000 kW) Bethlehem Josephine Cape Town
Belvedere Braamhoek pumped storage (external link) Mamre
Orange Fish River tunnel (600 kW) Jeffreys Bay (external link) Montagu
Paul Sauer dam (5250 kW) Krokodilpoort Prins Albert
Sabie horseshoe falls Swellendam
Sabie gorge (external link) Worcester
Sibasa (600 kW)

 
 
 
 
 
Discussion forum
The microhydro discussion forum is a world-wide forum of over 900 members interested in microhydro power. More information here.

Specially to discuss hydropower issues related to South Africa, I started a seperate group. To join the mhp_rsa list, please fill in your e-mail address in the box below. Alternative you might send an e-mail to rsa_mhp-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

The group's archives can be found at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rsa_mhp

Subscribe to the South African
microhydro discussion
Enter your e-mail address: 
Microhydropower initiative at SESSA
The Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa (SESSA) has asked me to initiate a workinggroup under SESSA dedicated to microhydropower. If you are interested to join, please drop me a line.
directory_country  
Hydropower manufacturers in South Africa Hydropower experts in South Africa

more entries world-wide, to register

1 Glynn Morris view
2 Nkosinathi view
3 tuwani monyai view

more entries world-wide, to register

Hydropower consultants in South Africa Hydropower organisations in South Africa

more entries world-wide, to register

1 SESSA microhydropower view

more entries world-wide, to register


 
 
 


Please contact me if you have more information on hydropower in South Africa that you would like to share with us.


More information on hydropower at the microhydro webportal


Comments and remarks to Wim Jonker Klunne

sponsored links