South Africa to increase renewable energy generation

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South Africa recently has approved a draft to increase renewable energy generation hence replacing the use of nuclear power in the country.

Jeff Radebe, South Africa’s Energy Minister, confirmed the reports and said that the cabinet had approved the updated Integrated Resources Plan (IRP 2018) which will increase renewable energy capacity and add only a minimal amount of new coal.

Also Read: Going nuclear: Africa’s energy future?

The electricity generation and distribution landscape

“The electricity generation and distribution landscape in South Africa is changing at a rapid pace compared to the period before 2010. In keeping to our climate change commitments, the country has also introduced renewable energy through independent power producers,” Radebe said.

This now means that only 1 gigawatt worth of new coal capacity will be added by 2030 and there will be over 15 gigawatt of renewable energy used including hydro power, solar and wind.

South Africa is currently the largest carbon-emitting country in Africa. Radebe says that is important that “There is significant change in the energy mix post-2030 which is mainly driven by decommissioning of old coal power plant that reaches their end of life.”

Energy storage technology

Additionally, the UK announced plans to invest a whopping US $65m into South Africa to develop energy storage technology that will aid in the supply of secure renewable power in the country.

“This project, the first of its kind in the region, will use an innovative technology to transform the country’s energy system, supporting South Africa’s long-term commitment to decreasing carbon emissions by developing bold, new renewable technologies, bringing about a climate revolution whilst also enabling the creation of thousands of jobs for young South Africans,” said Radebe.