South Africa to boost clean energy production
South African Deputy President David Mabuza says that the national electricity utility, Eskom, has proposed extra 8,000 megawatts (MW) of clean energy projects over the next two to five years to reduce load shedding.
The load shedding is mainly due to breakdowns of the old and aging power generation infrastructure, said Mabuza at the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, in Cape Town on Wednesday.
South Africa has an “immediate need” for 4,000 MW to 6,000 MW additional generation capacity per year to provide generation capacity surplus on the system, thus, allowing maintenance to improve reliability and predictability of its coal-fired power stations, which account for most of Eskom’s generation capacity, he said.
Eskom has a total nominal capacity of 45,117 MW, however, aging power stations, poor maintenance, among others, force the main electricity provider in the country to implement load shedding now and then.
Mabuza said the proposed clean energy projects include greenfield renewables and gas projects, as well as coal power plant repurposing.
This is part of the energy transition strategy of Eskom, which has proposed a holistic approach to decarbonization and environmental compliance by accelerating the retirement of ageing and unreliable coal plants, he added.
Other efforts by the government include various considerations to speed up the acquisition of independent power producers and to reduce further red tape.