Thursday, 20 April 2017: Eskom has,
over an extended period of time, funded research work done by both the CSIR and
Stellenbosch University, which has ostensibly benefitted research in the
“Eskom’s unique role in driving the socio-economic
growth requires us to work intimately with academic institutions to develop
path-breaking knowledge base in the science environment,” Divisional Executive
for Corporate Affairs, Chose Choeu said.
He said that Eskom’s Power Plant Engineering
Institute (EPPEI) has a renewable energy specialisation centre as part of the
Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) based at
Echoing Eskom’s contribution in the renewable
space, Choeu pointed out that CRSES received R2.6 million in 2016, from Eskom’s
EPPEI, and planned funding for 2017 is projected at about R4 million. They also
receive funding from the Research, Testing and Development (R,T&D) business
unit for a two year renewable photovoltaic penetration study valued at R2.5
Choeu highlighted Eskom’s partnership with CRSES,
which completed its tenth academic year in 2016.
“Over the period of its tenth academic year, the
centre was involved in the graduation of 3 doctoral, 22 masters and a number of
postgraduate diploma students. The centre has also been very successful in
attracting additional funding from industry and government,” said Choeu.
In 2012 EPPEI identified Concentrating Solar Power
(CSP) and Wind Energy as the two focal areas for Eskom in the field of
renewable energy and, subsequently, Solar Photovoltaics (PV) was added.
“Stellenbosch University has established itself as
one of the leading universities in CSP research, in the world, and has
developed a number of unique experimental facilities and technology. Eskom is
proud to have made its substantial contribution to this journey,” Choeu said.
He stated that Eskom has a R30.8 million multi-year
collaborative projects with CSIR, currently in progress, of which Eskom’s
contribution is R23.4 million. Choeu said they also have another R17.5 million
in collaborative projects actively under consideration, currently.
“As Eskom, we have a deeply-rooted appreciation of
academic independence. We encourage this by investing, in science research,
without any contingent conditions that have a potential to remotely impede this
canonised independence,” added Choeu.
He emphasised that Eskom is proud of their
partnerships with various academic institutions on scientific research and
“We will continue to forge these lasting
partnership; it is the only farsighted way to leave a sustainable legacy for
the people of South Africa,” Choeu said.