Johannesburg, South Africa -- ESI.AFRICA.COM --- 24 November 2010 - South African power utility Eskom has confirmed that, contrary to general belief, it will have a third new, coal-fired power station "’ but only after 2025.
Quoting Eskom CEO Brian Dames, Miningmx reports that, although the new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2010) did not made provision for a third coal-fired plant, it did not necessarily deal with additional capacity after 2025. So Kusile in Mpumalanga and Medupi in Limpopo would not be the last coal-fired power plants built in South Africa.
Dames contended that, although Eskom was striving to become greener and less dependent on power generation from coal, coal still had a major role in the country’s future energy mix. South Africa's access to cheap coal made it unwise to dispense with the energy fuel.
Eskom would in future focus on nuclear power and renewable energy, with an emphasis on solar projects, he went on to reveal.
Dames said that by 2030 the utility planned to have changed South Africa's existing power-generation mix (currently almost 95% coal), and would in future have about 14% of its capacity generated by nuclear power and other sources. He added that renewable energy would comprise a further 16% of the total and by 2030 coal would make up about 47% of total generation capacity.
Dames pointed out that Kusile and Medupi represented a 20% increase in Eskom's generation capacity. The expectation was that the third coal-fired power station would add a further 5GW to the network. Eskom's aim was to become greener, but this could also be achieved by using new technologies to make existing and new coal-generation facilities much cleaner.