Data provided by iNet BFA
Loading...
See More

Gas, renewables, future of electricity

Jan 23 2013 19:02 Sapa
eskom

Electricity pylons in Beaufort West. Nersa is holding public hearings on Eskom's proposed revenue price determination. (Picture: Chris Kirchhoff/MCSA)

Related Articles

Eskom's proposed hike 'meaningless'

Eskom hike will hit poor hardest

35 000 jobs on line over Eskom hikes

Disruption mars Eskom hearing

Eskom must be sustainable - CEO

Nersa needs govt help - expert

 
Cape Town - Electricity demand has remained static, requiring an urgent change in future energy plans, National Planning Commission (NPC) member Anton Eberhard said on Wednesday.

"Electricity demand today is still at 2007 levels. It's unprecedented. In the entire history of the electricity industry in South Africa we've never had such a long period of static demand," he told the Cape Town press club.

"Of course, it changes the picture. It changes how much supply has to be met and also raises questions of how one needs that, in a more flexible way."

Eberhard, a professor and energy expert, said the current version of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) would need to be revised urgently.

Eskom was building two new coal power stations at a cost of around R340bn.

The Medupi power station in Limpopo was expected to make its first contribution to the grid later in 2013 and Kusile, in Mpumalanga, in 2014.

Eberhard said it was a risky strategy to be investing in large capital plants that took years to build when demand might vary in that time.

"It's much better and a more smart strategy to adopt smaller scale plants, more flexibly and more quickly to match demand in the country. Of course, gas and renewables lend themselves to that much more."

Besides coal, the country's energy options were renewable sources such as wind and solar, nuclear power, imported liquefied natural gas (LNG), offshore gas on the West Coast and the hydraulic fracturing or fracking of potential shale gas in the Karoo.

Eberhard said the planning commission had raised some "critical issues" regarding nuclear power.

"What we said was that the decision should already have been made to invest in nuclear power if we're to meet the 2023 date, which is in the Integrated Resource Plan. Our first concern is that we're probably already too late in that investment decision," he said.

The other concerns were the uncertain capital outlay costs for new nuclear stations and the lack of a financing plan.

The IRP had outlined intentions for six new nuclear power stations to provide 9 600 megawatts.

Eberhard said the national nuclear energy executive committee was to conduct a peer review on these exact issues, with the NPC hoping to offer input.

On fracking, the NPC was of the view that it would not be the first of new energy sources to be developed.

"The first would be West Coast gas and the second would be LNG imports. What's missing at the moment is a national gas strategy.

"We're initiating research to get the information which would support the development of such a strategy within the department."

Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

eskom  |  eskom tarrif hike  |  electricity  |  nersa
NEXT ON FIN24X

 
 
 

Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
16 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:

Small Business

A cash flow crunch often occurs in small businesses trying to balance cash coming in with cash going out. Watch this video to help you improve.
 
 

No more nice-to-have shopping sprees

Fin24 user Asia writes how she managed to rehabilite herself from splurging on feel-good iitems and keep clean from the bondage of lifestyle debt.

 
 

Start saving...

Time the key for retirement saving
Dummy's guide to saving
Save money with affordable account
All about endowments

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...
Loading...