Mantashe’s Mining Indaba Energy Takeaways

  • The gazetting of Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act which will enable self-generation; and facilitate municipal generation options under “Distributed Generation”.
  • Depending on the circumstances, the generation plant may only require registration and not licensing.
  • Government will continue to look at additional coal fired generation capacity.
  • Government is looking at starting a generating company outside of Eskom.

South Africa’s Minister of Minerals and Energy, Hon Gwede Mantashe delivered the key note address at the Mining Indaba this week.

Mantashe re-iterated that the South African government is in the process of gazetting a revised Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act; which will enable self-generation; and facilitate municipal generation options under “Distributed Generation”. This will help close the energy gap caused by deteriorating Eskom plant performance. Depending on the circumstances, the generation plant may only require registration and not licensing.

“We must allow our mining companies to generate energy for self-use — you don’t need a licence for that — you just register and you run ahead,” Minister Mantashe elaborated.

“Secondly, we have taken a decision we will talk to investors to start a generating company outside of Eskom. That is a security measure, as Eskom is grappling with all the crises and problems, we must have a fail-safe option of delivering energy, ” he added. The minister did not elaborate on how this new energy generation SEO would be structured.

Mantashe stressed that government was doing its bit to filful the short term generation gap. “In December 2019, the Department of Minerals and Energy issued a Request for Information (RFI) – inviting responses from the market on innovative potential solutions to deliver power generation to the grid as expeditiously as possible (3000MW). The department welcomes all inputs from the market, these will give the Department a sense of possible immediate generation options available in the next three (3) to twelve (12) months to fill the short to medium term gap”. Read more

The Minister rounded off by stipulating that coal generation is still very much part of South Africa’s future. “The Council for Geoscience (CGS) is looking at frontier coalfields and the establishment of additional generation capacity in support of carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS). In an effort to increase energy efficiency, the CGS will further investigate the potential of carbon utilisation in contributing to enhanced geothermal energy generation and improved extraction of coal-bed methane,” he said.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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