‘Coal will Continue to Play a Critical Part in Our Just Energy Transition’ – South Africa’s Energy Minister

  • South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Mr Gwede Mantashe has stressed that the country must guarantee baseload energy supply through a combination of gas, nuclear, coal, and hydro.
  • He was speaking on the country’s Just Energy Transition during parliamentary debate last week. 

“We ought to guarantee baseload energy supply through a combination of gas, nuclear, coal, and hydro. A pendulum swing from coal powered energy generation to renewable energy does not guarantee baseload stability. It will sink the country into a baseload crisis,” said Mantashe.

He added, “The work done by the Council for Geoscience (CGS) in collaboration with the World Bank on Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) gives us hope and belief that coal will continue to play a critical part in our Just Energy Transition. Therefore, any suggestion that coal has reached its sell by date is a myth. Hence, our coal exports have increased by over 700% since the geopolitical conflict between Russia and Ukraine.”

Related news: It is not foreign forces – it is the people of South Africa that are fed up with Gwede Mantashe and the DMRE 

“Our country is endowed with this critical mineral and other fossil fuels which must be exploited for the benefit of the people of South Africa. This should not be misconstrued as undermining our commitments to the global decarbonisation agenda, as a signatory to the Paris Agreement.”

Mantashe added that country is witnessing a rapid growth in private sector energy investments through Independent Power Producers (IPPs). This has been witnessed through the procurement of additional energy under the Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) for Bid Windows 5 and 6. Just today, we signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with 3 projects under Bid Window 5 which will add 364 megawatts to the national grid once completed. We intend to sign PPAs with 13 preferred bidders under this window before the end of this month.

Related news: Controversial REIPPPP Bid WIndows have faced extended delays under Gwede Mantashe

“The REIPPPP is not a replacement of Eskom. It must be clear to all, that Eskom is not for sale as it remains the country’s baseload energy generator. The disaggregation of Eskom into the three utilities of Generation, Transmission, and Distribution forms part of our plan to secure energy supply to society. The amendments to the Electricity Regulation Act (ERA) and Electricity Pricing Policy are aimed at enabling a competitive market for electricity generation in the country and drive affordability through fair competition,” said Mantashe.

Link to the full speech here: JET DEBATE IN PARLIAMENT SPEECH

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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