Workshop on modelling South Africa’s future power system

“Coordinated research on the modelling of future power systems within the context of increasing renewable energy penetration is critically important”, according to Dr Bernard Bekker, Eskom Chair in Power System Simulation at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. “Very large investment decisions are typically based on the future scenarios resulting from these modelling activities.”

For this reason, a workshop on Modelling South Africa’s Future Power System was held at Lanzerac Wine Estate on 16 and 17 May 2018. The general aim of this workshop was to survey and coordinate the research activities of the research partners associated with the Eskom Power Plant Engineering Institue (EPPEI)’s Power System Simulation programme, hosted within the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES).

Day one of the workshop focussed on high-level information sharing by the research partners, feedback from industry on this information, and shared perspectives on future priority research areas.  Technical sessions were held on day two of the workshop, where the research partners presented their models, datasets and methodologies in more detail.

Representatives from Stellenbosch University, University of Cape Town, Tshwane University of Technology, and Cape Peninsula University of Technology, as well as the Energy Group at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) shared current research activities, models and skillsets. Industry was represented by Eskom’s Network Planning-, System Operations- and Energy Planning & Market Development departments, as well as the City of Cape Town’s Electricity Services, International Council on Large Electric Systems (CIGRE), and the South African Institute for Electrical Engineers (SAIEE).

Dr Ndaona Chokani, an expert in the field of future power system modelling at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich), also provided an international perspective of the field and shared his group’s modelling platform, EnerPol – a novel, bottom-up, integrated simulation framework that is used to provide holistic scenario assessments of energy, transport, urban infrastructures, and population dynamics.

“The workshop was successful in several aspects, in that it informed industry on the expertise and capabilities of each research partner; it improved the understanding of the support that academia could provide to industry, and it gave both industry and the research partners the opportunity to share perspectives on future priority research areas.”

Photo:  Representatives from academia and industry gathered on the steps of the Lanzerac during a workshop on Modelling South Africa’s Future Power System.