South Africa’s electricity minister spins on Energy Action Plan progress

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  • Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, says at least half of the actions set out in the Energy Action Plan (EAP) are either completed or on track.
  • Ramokgopa did not elaborate on the planned actions that were off track or not yet started.

He was briefing the media on the progress made on the one year implementation of the Energy Action Plan on Sunday.

Two days prior to the briefing, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the Presidential Climate Commission (PCC) and the University of Pretoria, invited Ramokgopa to speak and share his ‘invaluable insights’ on the crucial topic of energy sovereignty and its significance in achieving a sustainable and equitable energy transition. Ramakgopa’s talk was disrupted by a group of activists led by Extinction Rebellion climate activist, Malik Dasoo, who called the minister out for his fat salary and hypocricy. Read more

The EAP was introduced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in July last year and thrashes out work that must be done by both Eskom and government to ensure that load shedding is reduced and eventually eradicated and to ensure energy security for the country in the future.

“About 56% of the work we are doing is either completed or on track. About eight of these actions that the President has set out in the Energy Action Plan we have completed. Twenty of these actions are on track so essentially what that means is that we are in keeping with the timelines that we had set for ourselves. Twelve of these actions are delayed but progressing well. Of course that is a dent because what we want to is to be either ahead of time or on time. Eight of those are off-track and intervention is on the way…so we are missing our own targets that we set ourselves,” he said.

Related news: SA president and energy minister oppose legally binding energy planning requirement for the country

All of the actions that government is undertaking are underpinned by five interventions, namely:

  • Fix Eskom and improve the availability of existing supply
  • Enable and accelerate private investment in generation capacity
  • Accelerate procurement of new capacity from renewables, gas and battery storage
  • Unleash businesses and households to invest in rooftop solar
  • Fundamentally transform the electricity sector to achieve long-term energy security

According to Ramokgopa, actions that government has taken include:

  • Sourcing additional capacity neighbouring countries. Some 100MW has already been sourced from Mozambique with an additional 600MW on the way.
  • Addressing outages breakdowns at Eskom power stations. The amount of breakdowns has decreased from some 17000MW in May to some 15000MW average in the last week.
  • Delays in returning broken down units to service have come down from 2000MW to 1300MW during the past week.
  • Private investment in capacity generation has increased following the removal of the threshold.
  • Government is procuring renewable energy through the Independent Power Producers. Currently there is a 66GW of projects in the pipeline

It is becoming increasingly difficult to take Ramokgopa’s weekly Sunday press conference seriously. The country’s energy sector has been in progressive decline for many years due to corruption, theft, mismanagement, sabotage and poor planning. Threre are more than 2000 cases at Eskom linked to criminality. Read more

On the same day (Sunday) Eskom announced that Stage 3 loadshedding (blackouts) will be implemented. Thereafter, Stage 1 loadshedding will be implemented from 05:00 until 16:00 on Monday, followed by Stage 4 loadshedding until 05:00 on Tuesday. This will be repeated on Tuesday into Wednesday.

Breakdowns are currently at 15 050MW of generating capacity while the generating capacity out of service for planned maintenance is 4 434MW. Over the past 24 hours, a generating unit at Camden and Duvha power stations was returned to service. In the same period, a generating unit at Medupi Power Station was taken offline for repairs. The delay in returning to service two generating units each at Kendal and Tutuka power stations is contributing to the current capacity constraints.

Source: Eskom

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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