Crescent Mushwana

CMushwana_Smoothing out the volatility of SA’s wind and solar PV energy resources

Crescent Mushwana
Mushwana holds an MEng degree in electrical engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand. His research interests are in energy-systems planning and operation, and power system analysis (dynamic and steady-state) with a special focus on future energy/power system scenario modelling.

About the talk: Wind speeds can vary greatly from minute to minute, and cloud cover/movement can cause the output of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy sources to vary – solar and wind power naturally and continuously fluctuates. Mushwana’s talk will focus on smoothing or evening out the inherent volatility and fluctuations from wind and PV energy resources in South Africa.

The hypothesis of the talk is that for every region, depending on its weather averages and energy needs, there is a ‘sweet spot’ that can be identified to provide an optimal mix between wind and solar PV combined with the normal load that results in a residual load (normal load – wind – PV) that is less volatile and is predictable, therefore making it possible for conventional generation to respond to the residual load changes. The optimal mix will be based on certain spatial distributions of wind and PV energy resources – for instance, 40% PV and 60% wind, spatially distributed in a specific area, could result in an optimal mix.

The talk is based on a study aimed at increasing the fact base and the understanding of aggregated wind and PV profiles in South Africa for different spatial distributions and penetration levels of wind/PV, to serve as an input into the South African energy-planning processes and policy design.

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