Home South African Ramokgopa says plans afoot to procure nuclear energy

Ramokgopa says plans afoot to procure nuclear energy

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Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said government was procuring more sources of energy to ensure energy supply security and this included nuclear and gas.

Koeberg nuclear power station. File picture: Henk Kruger, ANA

MINISTER of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said government was procuring more sources of energy to ensure energy supply security and this included nuclear and gas.

Ramokgopa said government would this year begin the process to procure 2,500MW of nuclear energy, convert diesel open gas turbine to gas and roll out solar photovoltaic (PV) with battery storage.

He said this was part of the 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

“Based on the 2019 IRP, government will in 2024 commence the procurement of 2,500MW nuclear energy,” said Ramokgopa, who was replying to a written parliamentary question from EFF MP Mzwanele Manyi.

“The conversion of Gourikwa and Ankerlig to gas from diesel/open gas turbine (OCGT) which will yield 2,000MW and a further 1,000MW conversion into Closed Cycle Gas Turbine.

“An additional 3,000MW is approved in Richards Bay. Eskom will roll out plans for the development of solar PV coupled with battery energy storage systems which will yield 4,000MW.”

Manyi had asked Ramokgopa about government’s long-term plan for energy security supply.

Ramokgopa said the energy action plan has set out short- and medium-term objectives for government to ensure energy security supply for the country.

They also want the private sector to invest in renewable energy projects.

They want to expand transmission lines. Government wants to invest billions of rand in the expansion of 14,000km of transmission lines in the country.

Ramokgopa said in a media briefing on Monday they have already identified where the money was, but they wanted to find a way to access it to finance grid expansion.

He said he will give more details on this plan in the next two weeks.

Ramokgopa said a few weeks ago that there was a huge appetite for investors to invest in the expansion of the grid.

Last year the government said there were a number of renewable energy projects that were already in the pipeline. But they could not connect some of the projects to the grid in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Northern Cape because of lack of grid capacity.

The network was concentrated in Mpumalanga and nearby provinces because that was where most of the power stations were.

This was the same issue that was raised by Minister of Minerals and Energy Gwede Mantashe last year, that lack of grid capacity in the coastal provinces of the Eastern, Western and Northern Cape has prevented some of the renewable projects from being connected to the grid.

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