Optimum supplies coal to Eskom Holdings. File Photo: IOL
Optimum supplies coal to Eskom Holdings. File Photo: IOL

Coal will remain energy source for still some time

By Joseph Booysen Time of article published Dec 13, 2018

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CAPE TOWN - Coal will still be part of South Africa’s energy mix of the future, although it will not enjoy the same dominance it is currently enjoying as an energy source.

This is according to Anthony Julies, deputy director general at the National Treasury.

Julies was part of a panel discussion on Vision 2030: The IRP (Integrated Resource Plan) 2018 and infrastructure - Connecting Gas and Renewable Energy, at the Energy Week 2018 summit held in Cape Town this week.

Julies said that having an energy mix in the Treasury was important and already the White Paper for 2012 - 2025 identifies various energy sources.

“We anticipated that we would have gone to the level of 30percent renewable and private participation and as far as we are concerned as the Treasury, all of these energy sources should be prioritised because it is that energy mix of the future that is inevitable,” said Julies.

The session was moderated by Andrew Herscowitz, a co-ordinator for Power Africa, US Agency for International Development.

When asked by Herscowitz to identify what that energy mix is, Julies said this would include coal, nuclear, all kinds of renewables such as solar, wind and gas.

“That is the way of the future, because coal is not and will not have in future the dominance as an energy source it has always had. Yes, it has played a particular role and Eskom has played a particular role in that context, and so Eskom in the future will not be the Eskom of the past.

"There will be a diminishing role for coal and there will be an increasing role for gas and others in the future,” said Julies.

Julies said the Treasury had guaranteed R200billion for renewable energy.

“That is what we have on our books right now and so we really ought to have had a much higher take on it right now. One could argue in a way that on the extent that we were able to deliver on the Independent Power Producer Programme has in fact led to some avoidance of load shedding,” said Julies.


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