South Africa To Tackles Energy Crises Through Extending Renewable Energy Plans

South Africa is fast-tracking its efforts to address a severe energy shortage, which is adversely impacting its economy. The country’s Minister of Electricity, Kgosientsho Ramakgopa, has announced plans to generate 3 gigawatts (GW) of power through gas-fired facilities. This move is in response to the daily power cuts caused by frequent breakdowns in Eskom’s aging coal-fired plants. Officials estimate that a substantial increase of up to 6 GW in generating capacity is required to put an end to the ongoing blackouts.

The government’s strategy for boosting power generation encompasses the establishment of a 2 GW mobile facility and a 1 GW plant located near Coega in the Eastern Cape. Ramakgopa has noted that these projects have reached the procurement stage, signifying significant progress in their development.

Ramakgopa emphasized the importance of the 3,000 megawatts of gas in the energy plan. Gas, being a cleaner source compared to coal, holds a crucial role in mitigating emissions, and thus, expediting its implementation is a priority for the government.

It’s worth mentioning that earlier plans for a 3 GW gas-fired power plant in Richards Bay, on the east coast, faced opposition from environmental groups advocating for a swifter transition to renewable energy sources in alignment with the global trend away from polluting fossil fuels.

In June, Ramakgopa revealed that South Africa anticipates more than 5.5 GW of new renewable energy projects to become operational by 2026. This underscores the government’s commitment to diversifying its energy mix and reducing its reliance on fossil fuels.

Additionally, South Africa is exploring the possibility of extending the life of its 40-year-old 1.94 GW Koeberg nuclear plant by an additional 20 years, beyond its originally scheduled shutdown next year. This move seeks to bolster the country’s energy security by maintaining a vital component of its power infrastructure.

South Africa is taking decisive steps to address its energy crisis by accelerating gas-fired power generation, expanding its renewable energy portfolio, and considering the longevity of its existing nuclear facility. These measures aim to stabilize the power supply, drive economic growth, and contribute to a cleaner energy future.

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  • Samson Adeyemo

    An experienced broadcast and print media journalist with nose for news and proven track records of success without compromising objectivity.

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