South Africa’s energy mix still to lean on coal in next decade

South Africa’s plans to boost electricity generation over the next decade will be a mix of renewable energy and coal power, Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said, as nationwide power cuts entered a third day Friday.

The long-awaited Integrated Resource Plan published on Friday replaces a previous blueprint which had not been updated in almost a decade, holding back badly needed investment in new generating capacity.

Mantashe said the new plan supported a diversified energy mix and could be a catalyst for economic growth.

Coal will continue to play a significant role in South Africa’s plan to boost electricity generation over the next decade, with more renewable energy also lined up, Mantashe said.

Mantashe unveiled South Africa’s long-delayed plan for electricity generation until 2030 as the country experienced power cuts for a third day, with power utility Eskom struggling against capacity shortages.

The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) replaces a previous blueprint not updated for almost a decade, and deals with planned electricity generation combined with the energy mix.

The IRP 2019 supports a diversified energy mix. Coal will continue to play a significant role in electricity generation as the country has the resource in abundance, Mantashe told journalists.

New investments will be directed towards more-efficient coal technologies, underground coal gasification and the development of carbon capture and storage to enable us to continue using coal resources in an environmentally responsible way.

Mantashe said the additional capacity for the energy mix until 2030 would include 1,500 megawatts (MW) from coal, 2,500 MW from hydro, 6,000 MW from photovoltaic, 14,400 MW from wind, 2,088 MW from storage and 3,000 MW from gas.

This will see coal contributing 59% of energy volumes, Mantashe said.

Source: Nam News Network (NNN)