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Mixed generation necessary for ‘seamless’ energy transition

KENNETH OYAKHIRE During this energy transition, efforts ought to include hydrogen as an energy source, incorporate carbon capture and sequestration solutions, enable the digitising and orchestrating the grid and the adoption of more fuel-efficient fleets

9HA TURBINE The 9HA turbine from GE Vernova helps hone the ability to operate on hydrogen-blended fuels, ensuring gas infrastructure has a long-term role to play in a net-zero future

22nd March 2024

By: Trent Roebeck

Features Reporter

     

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The energy transition – in South Africa, Africa, and globally – entails an appropriate mix of energy generation sources in order to achieve the goals of energy security, decarbonisation and emissions reduction, says energy technology company GE Vernova.

Through its mission to contribute to accelerating the path to reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy, the company is making headway in helping businesses achieve net-zero goals using gas, hydrogen and alternative renewable resources for power generation.

“The energy transition will be different in each region of the world, with communities balancing their mix of energy sources inclusive of variable, dispatchable, and lower-carbon power generation options,” says GE Vernova’s Sub-Saharan Africa gas power service MD Kenneth Oyakhire.

He adds that the company’s “state-of-the-art technologies” are providing energy companies and operators with solutions for the ongoing electricity supply problems faced by many African countries, with South Africa’s loadshedding being a prime example.

He suggests, for example, that instead of continuing coal-fired power generation as the primary source of power generation, local power generation companies can opt for gas-fired power using a gas turbine – such as GE Vernova’s 9HA gas turbine – which helps hone the ability to operate on hydrogen-blended fuels, ensuring gas infrastructure has a long-term role to play in a net-zero future.

He also suggests that, during this energy transition, efforts ought to include hydrogen as an energy source, incorporate carbon capture and sequestration solutions, enable the digitising and orchestrating of the grid and the adoption of more fuel-efficient fleets, and help transform basic-cycle power plants into combined-cycle and flare gas-to-power solutions.

Gas-to-power solutions will not only provide an alternative method of power generation, but such large infrastructure projects will also play an important role in encouraging economic growth, creating employment opportunities, enabling new skills development, and helping contribute to reindustrialisation.

Some of the other solutions include GE Vernova’s high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system, GridOS software, and CERius software. The HVDC transmission system allows energy companies to strengthen the power grid, as well as to evacuate power.

Additionally, the GridOS software enables the management of clean energy grids using efficient digital tools for accurate management. Further, energy companies are also afforded the ability to efficiently manage carbon emissions with the CERius software.

Each of these technologies from GE Vernova provide solutions that help firms and municipalities get closer to reaching their net-zero goals by enhancing decarbonisation.

Oyakhire notes the important role that GE Vernova plays in providing reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy to the broader African continent, delivering electricity that is vital to health, safety and security, and ultimately an enhanced quality of life for citizens.

For more than 130 years, GE Vernova has been powering global economies, while upholding innovative thinking when it comes to decarbonisation and emissions reduction.

“With about 55 000 wind turbines and 7 000 gas turbines, GE Vernova’s technology base helps generate up to 30% of the world’s electricity and has a meaningful role to play in the energy transition,” he enthuses.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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