A review of grid connected distributed generation using renewable energy sources in South Africa

M. S. Thopil, R. C. Bansal, L. Zhang, G. Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The energy model in South Africa for electricity generation has been evolving at a rapid rate during recent times. The country has taken initiatives to incorporate more renewable sourced power into its coal-dominated electricity generation programme. The introduction of small to medium scale distributed generators closer to the load centres and powered by renewable energy sources will be a step forward for the country. Grid integration of these distributed generators will cause a bidirectional flow of electricity through the utility grid, which will lead to various technical issues such as voltage profile deviation and harmonic distortion. However, it will also allow the grid to act as a back-up electricity source when the distributed generators fall under and allow any excess electricity generated by the distributed generators to be absorbed by the grid. The use of optimisation techniques has been reviewed to be a feasible method to mitigate the undesirable technical concerns that arise during grid integration. The optimal location, size and design of distributed generators can be determined so that objectives such as minimising voltage deviation, power losses and net costs can be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-97
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy Strategy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Distributed power generation
  • Optimisation
  • Power systems
  • Renewable energy sources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy (miscellaneous)


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