Small thermal plants promising for Africa

Author(s): 
Chris Dalgliesh interviewed by African Mining
Date: 
Friday, March 1, 2019
First presented: 
African Mining
Type: 
Article
Category: 
Environmental/Social

Small-scale power generation plants driven by hydrocarbon sources and biomass are still likely to play a valuable part in rolling out electricity in regions of Africa unserved by grid power and where renewable resources are insufficient to sustain a reliable energy supply.

According to Chris Dalgliesh, partner and principal environmental consultant at SRK Consulting’s Cape Town office, the lack of a secure baseload energy supply in certain areas can be a key inhibitor to local or regional investment and economic development, and many countries, especially those not on a grid, are looking beyond the traditional large-grid model to create broader access to electricity.

“In some cases, a small thermal plant generating 25–100MW of power can be a more affordable developmental intervention for a local area, especially if it does not incur the often-prohibitive costs of transmission infrastructure across long distances,” said Dalgliesh. “Our experience in various parts of the world suggests that countries well-endowed with coal, gas, or oil, as well as surplus biomass and combustible waste, can benefit from these options while responsibly managing the environmental impacts.”


Acknowledged: African Mining

SRK Turkey