Barbara Hogan,
Public Enterprises
State-owned power utility Eskom has finalised 85% of its deals to buy electricity from independent producers to achieve its target of 400 MW of electricity, as stipulated by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for Eskom’s current multiyear price determination, the utility says in a statement.

The deals have now been submitted to Nersa for final approval. The remaining 15% of the deals will be submitted once agreements with sellers have been reached, reports the parastatal.

Both concentrating solar power and wind technologies are expected to make a significant contribution to government’s target of 10 000 GWh (about 1 667 MW equivalent power) from renewable-energy sources by 2013. With the help of investors, including the World Bank’s Clean Technology Fund (CTF), Eskom is increasing its investment in renewable energy. South Africa has submitted a portfolio of projects to the CTF that includes a concentrating solar power project, wind power developments, the development of the solar water heating industry and interventions to reduce emissions in the industrial sector.

Integrated Resource Plan 2
Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan says that her department will roll out the second Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2) after June 2010, which will define the portfolio mix of power generation options beyond 2013. Besides being responsive to energy security concerns, climate change and financing considerations, the IRP2 will also announce the technology that will provide baseload generation after the Medupi and Kusile coal-fired power stations have completed their life cycles.

Hogan stresses government’s stance on reducing emissions by 34%, by 2020, and 42%, by 2024, if South Africa receives financial and technological aid from more affluent countries. South Africa’s long-term mitigation scenarios point to emissions peaking from around 2020 to 2025, a plateau for a decade and then a decline, in absolute terms, from around 2035. Notably, however, she adds that the effects of the Medupi and Kusile coal-fired power stations have been factored into the scenarios.

The planned operational life of the Medupi power station is 50 years. The first generation unit will be commissioned in 2012, and the last unit will be commissioned in 2015.