Mantashe says interventions in play to help Eskom meet demand

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says interventions are being implemented to help Eskom meet the energy demand.

Mantashe said this when he participated in a debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in the National Assembly, on Wednesday.

This comes after president Cyril Ramaphosa, in his SONA last week, announced measures that are underway to ensure that there is energy security for Eskom, including the procurement of emergency power; the easing of requirements and processes for generation for own use; the issuing of Section 34 Determinations, in line with the IRP [Integrated Resource Plan] 2019, and enabling municipalities in good financial standing to buy their own power.

“Keeping with the president’s commitment of a paradigm shift in energy, these concrete measures are underway to complement other efforts to improve the capabilities of Eskom for reliable electricity supply, and to ensure security of energy supply for economic growth and development.

“The results will become evident in the coming months,” Mantashe said.

Ministerial determination on IRP 2019 awaiting NERSA concurrence

Mantashe said, meanwhile, that IRP 2019 provides for additional capacity of 2 000MW of emergency power, 1 500MW from coal, 2 500MW from hydro, 6 000MW from photovoltaic, 14 400MW from wind, 2 088MW from storage and 3 000MW from gas.

“Section 34 Determinations to implement the IRP 2019 are finalised and await concurrence by NERSA [National Energy Regulator of South Africa].

“This will also enable opening of Bid Windows for the renewable energy power procurement and support further investment in the sector.”

Proposals from projects that can deliver electricity into the grid within three to 12 months

Mantashe said in December 2019, the Department of Energy released a Request for Information (RFI) for power projects that can deliver power to the grid in the shortest possible time on a ‘least-cost’ and ‘least-regret’ approach.

The RFI helps government to assess the availability of immediate implementable generation options and the commercial terms expected by these projects.

From the date the RFI was issued, the department has received 481 responses, which include energy supply options and Demand Side Management options for gas, liquid fuels, coal, renewables, storage and nuclear.

“Preliminary analysis is that some proposals can bring power to the grid in less than twenty-four months. It also suggests that longer-term contracting is required to ensure prices do not negatively affect the current tariffs.

“Section 34 Determination for emergency power procurement, which awaits concurrence by NERSA, is finalised,” said Mantashe.

Read: Cape Town is ready to leave Eskom and load shedding behind

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Mantashe says interventions in play to help Eskom meet demand