Home South African Ramokgopa confirms project pipeline, but country needs R390 billion to expand grid

Ramokgopa confirms project pipeline, but country needs R390 billion to expand grid

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Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has reiterated that there is a pipeline of 66 gigawatts of renewable energy projects that need to be connected to the grid.

Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokkgopa said they are improving energy generation. Picture: Oupa Mokoena, African News Agency (ANA)

MINISTER of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has reiterated that there is a pipeline of 66 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy projects that will need to be connected to the grid.

This is one of the major initiatives to improve generation capacity.

Ramokgopa also said they will need R390 billion to expand the grid over the next decade.

Ramokgopa, who was addressing Parliament on Tuesday on the State of energy, said he held a seminar in Sandton recently where they discussed with the private sector investing in the expansion of the grid over the next 10 years.

He also said there was a project pipeline of 66GW of renewable energy to be added to the grid.

“The focus is not only on the generation side. You know there is a significant amount of reform where we have liberalised the generation side. There is an aggressive appetite demonstrated by private sector players — an insatiable appetite. There is a pipeline of 66GW of projects that are at various stages of the project life cycle,” said Ramokgopa.

He said they were also focusing on the transmission side.

“We are also focusing on the transmission side. That is why, earlier on, I said we are looking at various options to see how best we can finance the expansion of the grid because we will need upwards of R390 billion that is going to enable us to accommodate new renewable generation capacity from renewable energy sources,” said Ramokgopa.

He said South Africa has turned the corner, with lower stages of load shedding being implemented.

He said the situation will get even better with more units returned to service and renewable energy projects connected to the grid.

“We have always been firm that Kusile Power Station would anchor the drive for generation capacity to get ahead of the demand curve. The two units returned have injected an additional 1,600MW over the past month, while Units 2 and 5 will add another 1,600MW. This means the 4 Kusile Units will provide a total of 3,200MW of baseload by December. The last remaining Kusile unit, Unit 6, is planned to be synchronised in August 2024.

“House chair, I am happy to report that an interim solution has been found to expedite the return of Medupi Unit 4 from August 2024 to April 2024; this will add another 800MW of baseload to the grid,” said Ramokgopa.

He added that they were expecting to connect 1,338MW of renewable energy to the grid by the end of the year.

Another 3,081MW will be connected to the grid by next year.

There were also various projects involving renewable energy.

But the government wants to expand grid capacity to accommodate a number of renewable projects.

“It is estimated that more than R390 billion will be required over the next decade to meet the demand for grid capacity, largely due to the increase in generation capacity through renewable energy projects following the various bid windows,” said Ramokgopa.

Ramokgopa has said they would need to expand the grid by 14,000km over the next decade.

This would be able to meet the demand for renewable energy projects that were connected to the grid.

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