August 27, 2018 Read More →

New South Africa plan looks to cut coal reliance, expand renewables

Bloomberg:

South Africa has dropped proposals to boost supply from nuclear plants in its latest energy blueprint and will increasingly harness renewable sources as it trims a reliance on coal.

“There will be a study to determine if more nuclear is needed after 2030,” Energy Minister Jeff Radebe told reporters in Pretoria on Monday. “But until then, there is no increase in nuclear generation envisaged.”

The long-awaited update of the country’s Integrated Resource Plan for power sector spending, the first in eight years, calls for the biggest increase in capacity from wind and natural gas.

Wind and natural gas are each projected to increase by 8,100 megawatts of capacity, while 5,670 megawatts will come from solar and 2,500 megawatts from hydropower, according to the plan. Coal, which currently makes up the bulk of the country’s energy source, will add 1,000 megawatts. The Department of Energy, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa and state-owned utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. are tasked with carrying out the proposals.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has this year overseen the replacement of Eskom’s leadership as he seeks to attract $100 billion of investment to the country. A program to add more renewable power from independent producers has been revived.

“There is significant change in the energy mix post 2030, which is mainly driven by decommissioning of old coal power plants that reach their end of life,” Radebe said. Close to 30 gigawatts of Eskom’s coal fleet is to reach end-of-life by 2040, according to the draft document.

More: South Africa drops nuclear, adds renewables in energy plan

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