News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Saturday August 13th 2022

Revealed: the cost of electricity from coal

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3 Responses to “Revealed: the cost of electricity from coal”

  1. Eskom Employee says:

    Good Article concerning the real cost of using Coal as a primary energy source. There are some details in your article which are unfortunately not accurate. Simply assuming that since South Africa burns a 1/10th of the coal of the USA, that our costs would be “roughly $50 billion”. We burn a coal of poorer quality than that of the USA, poorer quality means more “stone” in the coal, which just ends up as ash taken to ash dumps. This may still mean that there is increased costs, but it is not possible to draw a direct comparison between SA and USA.

    The other main concern is that you mentioned that Eskom is building 3 new Coal Power Stations at a cost of R75 billion. This is far from the truth, Eskom is building 2 new Coal Power Stations (Kusile and Medupi), at a cost far exceeding that. The 3rd Power Station in the pipeline is Ingula, which is a Hydro-electric Pumped Storage Power Station in KZN. 3 old mothballed Coal Power Stations are currently being refurbished, Camden which is complete, Grootvlei and Komati. These are all stations that were mothballed in the 1990’s due to excess capacity, and are now being brought back.

  2. admin says:

    Hi Francois.
    Thanks for your response, and for pointing out inaccuracies, which I can’t excuse but would’ve had less chance of occurring if Eskom had bothered, over two days, to reply to our questions. I agree that it is very difficult to draw direct comparisons to the situation in the US, which is why we stated ‘theoretically’ in introducing our calculations. We would have been remiss if we didn’t try offer some local comparison and given Eskom’s lack of response, had to do the best we could. The lack of response is not your fault of course (unless you’re in media liaison) but if you ever bump into the media liaison people at the water cooler, do urge them to up their game, for everyone’s sake.
    Again, thank you for your comments, they’re much appreciated.
    Best Regards,

  3. 140 Billion rand for Medupi for 4.2 Gw !
    80 % load facto means R 41600 per kW capacity
    There are 356 x 24 h = 8544 hours in a year.
    Hence every kWh per annum needs R 41600/8544 = R 4.87 per kW-hour

    Then add coal price cost, transmission loss, transmission cost, distribution cost, corruption cost, running cost, depreciation, decommissioning !

    Then add these environment cost. Additional coal power stations makes no sense
    and nuclear even less when compared to solar + pump storage storage !

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