Govt pursues balanced energy mix
As SA pursues a balanced energy mix, the country will continue to invest in clean energy technologies towards net zero emissions, says mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe.
The minister addressed the SA Youth Economic Council held in Johannesburg Thursday evening, saying the choice for an energy mix is derived from a need to secure energy supply for the country and to grow the economy.
Despite the country’s reliance on coal, minister Mantashe said much work is being done to procure energy from renewable sources and connect to the grid.
“We will continue to pursue an energy mix to ensure security of energy and supply, cognisant of our international commitments to respond to climate change. We will continue to invest in clean energy technologies towards net zero emissions.
“We will do this through our ambitious energy procurement programmes facilitated by the Independent Power Producer Office (IPPO), which is recognised globally for its pioneering excellence.”
To date, Mantashe said, the department has completed procurement of 6 422MW of renewable energy through Bid Window 4.
“By the end of June 2021, at least 5 422MW from these Bid Windows were already connected to the grid to supply energy to the nation,” he said.
He added that the department is also in the process of procuring at least 6 800MW of power from independent power producers, with a further 2 000MW expected to be procured from the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.
In addition, “plans are under way to extend the lifespan of Koeberg [Nuclear Power Station] by 20 years”, he noted. “Nuclear is critical to net zero carbon emissions as the international energy associations attest. In this regard, as approved by our Cabinet too, we will proceed to implement the 2 500MW of nuclear at a scale and pace affordable to South Africa.”