Johannesburg (AFP) Oct 26, 2010
South Africa opened public hearings on a 125-billion-dollar energy plan on Tuesday, to shift from dependency on coal while avoiding major price rises and a repeat of paralysing blackouts in 2008.
The draft plan proposes nearly halving the share of coal in the country's energy mix to 48 percent by 2030, down from about 90 percent today, using nuclear power and renewable energy such as wind and solar to make up the difference.
The proposal, with an estimated price tag of 860 billion rands (125 billion dollars, 89 billion euros), would expand the country's generation capacity by 52,248 Megawatts over the next 20 years, up from almost 40,000 Megawatts.
It also seeks to balance the push for cleaner energy with the need to keep electricity costs in check and ensure a stable supply, said Nelisiwe Magubane, director general of the Department of Energy.
"We need to make sure that we have adequate electricity going into the future," Magubane told a briefing on the proposal.
She called the rolling blackouts that rocked the country's economy in 2008 "one of the worst crises in the history of South Africa," and said the government and national power company Eskom have made keeping the lights on a priority in planning the country's energy supply for the next two decades.
"At the end of the day people want to have electricity. You might have all sorts of technologies in place but if you are not sure that they can deliver what you need at a specific time, then you are going to have a serious problem," Magubane said.
"The experience we had in 2008 indicated that it's more expensive not to have electricity."
The proposal, called the "Integrated Resource Plan," will be up for discussion at public meetings in November and December and will then undergo a revision to reflect public input.
Magubane said the government plans to adopt it as official policy in early 2011.
Under the plan, the country's energy mix in 2030 would rely on nuclear for 14 percent of electricity, renewable energy for 16 percent and coal for 48 percent, with the remaining 22 percent coming from a mix of local and imported hydropower and different gas technologies.
The turn toward nuclear would be a major shift in energy policy for South Africa, which currently has just one nuclear plant whose two reactors generate about six percent of its electricity.
Magubane said the government will consider opening nuclear power generation to the private sector to help cover the cost of building new plants which can cost up to 15 billion dollars depending on capacity.
She said the cabinet will make a decision on the issue by April 2011.
The draft plan also analyses a "low-carbon scenario" that would include 36 percent coal-sourced electricity, 32 percent renewables and 12 percent nuclear.
But planners found that programme would drive up costs by 50 percent and cut carbon emissions by just 10 percent more than the "balanced scenario" the draft plan endorses.
Magubane said South Africa cannot afford to put green energy ahead of economic development, saying the country needs outside assistance in the fight against climate change.
"If somebody could come tomorrow and say, 'We are going to be assisting with funding and technological advancement,' by all means we would go for the low-carbon scenario in a flash," she said.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com
Australia climate activists freeze world's largest coal port
Sydney (AFP) Sept 26, 2010
Australian climate change activists paralysed the world's largest coal exporting port Sunday for five hours by breaking into the site and chaining themselves to machinery, officials said. The protesters, from environmental action group Rising Tide, sneaked into Newcastle Port north of Sydney before dawn and attached themselves to loaders in what they called "an emergency intervention". " ... read more
Half The Productivity, Twice The Carbon|
'Fearful' Frenchwoman replaced as renewables agency chief
Greece to draw green projects worth 45 bln euros by 2015: PM
Britain defends green spending amid cuts
Taiwan-held atoll fends off China fishermen
S.Africa looks at shift away from coal
Small Is Beautiful In Hydroelectric Power Plant Design
SMSS Autonomous Vehicle To Demo Portable Battery Charging For Soldiers
Wind power to grow massively until 2030
China's wind power capacity to increase five-fold by 2020
Google in major bid for Eastern US wind power
Findings About Wind Farms Could Expand Their Use
Carlisle School District Unveils One Of Pensylvania's Largest Solar Arrays
Solar Frontier And IBM Sign Agreement To Develop CZTS Technology
First Ever US Solar Jobs Census Finds Solar Employment On The Rise
Fluor Develops Master Plan For South Africa Solar Park
Tapping natural gas could unleash uranium
Argentina to join small group of uranium-enriching countries
Saudi cabinet gives nod to nuclear pact with Russia
Indian PM in Japan for nuclear, trade talks
US Navy To Conduct Alternative Fuels Demo With Riverine Command Boat
Boeing Statement Regarding USDA-FAA Partnership On Aviation Biofuels
Carolina pioneering human waste-to-energy
Port Gibson Biomass Plans Taking Shape
NASA chief says pleased with 'comprehensive' China visit
The International Future In Space
International Crews for Shenzhou
China Eyes Extended Mission Beyond Moon
Climate Tipping Points For Populations, Not Just Species
Climate action on firing line in US elections
Climate change to hit Asia's poor hardest: World Bank
Climate change could bring 'travel chaos'
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|