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Energy Indaba takes critical look at interruption in renewable energy when the power source is inactive

Energy Indaba takes critical look at interruption in renewable energy when the power source is inactive

Various African countries have made headway with their respective Renewable Energy Programmes and will be presenting investment opportunities in renewable energy projects at next week’s Africa Energy Indaba to attract investors, financiers, EPC contractors, and other stakeholders.

In preparation for the Indaba on 19 and 29 February 2019 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, the organisers said this week the problem of intermittence in renewables, i.e. interruption in generation when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing, will be one of the focal areas of discussion.

While the costs of renewable generation are declining, there is concern about the intermittence of the total output derived from renewable sources. This means that the renewable energy source used will not be continuously available for conversion into electricity and cannot be controlled directly as the used primary energy cannot be stored. To this end, sources cannot be dispatched to meet the demand of an electric power system. The energy grid must provide a balance between the load and generation, but with such varying levels of electricity production from renewable sources such as wind and solar, this balance is challenging to sustain, and this very reason represents one of the biggest challenges to the power sector.

However, with the advent of a revolutionary concept known as Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), these intermittency concerns have been somewhat appeased as they enable the effective utilisation of these renewable sources. BESS is a system that stores energy using a battery technology so that it can be utilised in the future. By merging storage and renewable energy, the total output is far less intermittent, thereby solving balancing and system reliability concerns. Grid scale battery storage can promptly become operational thereby assisting with time shifting, spinning reserve, frequency regulation and load following. When the deployment of renewable energy is coupled with Battery Storage, a new dimension emerges where utilities are able to compete on a level playing field with conventional electricity power plants.  Furthermore, energy storage remains a flexible, scalable and efficient solution.

Dr Christoph Frei, the Secretary General of the World Energy Council, asserted that “Digital solutions help energy systems to be more effective in different ways, such as assisting in managing the intermittence issues of renewables.” Digital technology lends itself to overcoming intermittence issues in renewables such as intelligent data systems that empower network operators to manage large volumes of intermittent solar, wind and other renewable power, and support more distributed power producers. Building a database that represents a digital replica of the physical plant can create analytics that can prompt service and maintenance functions, prior to issues even occurring.

As renewable energy contributes an increasing proportion of energy to the grid, more sophisticated, accurate, and effective means for predicting power levels must be created to efficiently use the energy being produced. Failing this, the task could become very expensive, and hinder the success of renewable energy in its constant effort to replace fossil fuels as the main source of energy generation in Africa.

The International Energy Agency predicts that by 2035, developing nations will constitute 80% of total global energy production and consumption alike. A greater portion of this new generation will be derived from renewable sources in response to international policies on cleaner energy.

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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.