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Clean energy to be the main source of generating electricity, says Mantashe

He said while coal generation would continue for the foreseeable future, clean energy would gradually increase in the period to 2030.

FILE: Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe on Friday said wind power would contribute the most to electricity generation in the coming years.

Mantashe presented the full Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) approved by Cabinet earlier this week.

He said while coal generation would continue for the foreseeable future, clean energy would gradually increase in the period to 2030.

Mantashe said coal would continue to contribute 59% of electricity generation, but as the country strived to reduce greenhouse emissions, more clean energy would be generated and on top would be wind power.

“In the plan, 1,500MW of generation from coal 2,500MW from hydro, 6,000mw from photovoltaic, 14,400MW from wind, 2,088MW from storage and 3,000MW from gas.”

He said gas power would also contribute to the grid: “The IRP 2019 makes provision for gas from the year 2024. We intend to establish the first LNG hub in Coega IDZ in the Eastern Cape.”

ADDRESSING ESKOM CHALLENGES

Mantashe said the continuous load shedding was evidence of the challenges facing Eskom and the department would issue a request for information on solutions that can be implemented in the shortest possible time.

He said his department would work on information to find immediate solutions to challenges faced by the utility.

Eskom has implemented load shedding for three consecutive days and Saturday would be no different as stage 1 will kick off from 9 am to 11 pm.

The utility said the national electricity grid was under severe pressure following coal and handling issues at its Medupi Power Station.

Mantashe said they were looking into several workable solutions: “Restructuring it, functional unbundling, addressing big debt Eskom is facing, and which part of Eskom needs our urgent attention is what we are busy with.”

Click here to check your load shedding schedule.

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