Mantashe: Nuclear and hydro will help bridge the energy gap

Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy.

Jeffrey Abrahams / Getty Images

The supply for nuclear, hydro and other power generation technologies within South Africa’s existing policy framework will come in line to close the energy supply gap with the closure of coal-fired power plants, the Minister of Finance said Monday. Mining and Energy Resources Gwede Mantashe at Mining Indaba.

Speaking to the side press of Investing in African Mining Indaba, which takes place in Cape Town this week, Mantashe said the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2019) provided the way forward to close the gap, including document reference. politician to begin preparations work for nuclear energy to go online after 2030.

Concern is growing that the existing policy is not being implemented fast enough, nor is it realistic enough to close the growing energy supply gap that could become insurmountable as many of Eskom’s coal-fired power plants are expected to close in the coming years.

Mantashe, however, advocated IRP 2019 – the electricity infrastructure roadmap for the country that was originally supposed to be updated every two years – as the way forward.

The plan foresees significant quantities of renewable energy, the development of which must rapidly accelerate the timing of the policy must be respected.

It also provides gas storage and power, as well as new coal and hydroelectric power from the DRC’s Inga project – the latter two being the most questionable in terms of activation or not.

Mantashe said that while gas and nuclear are part of the green transition in Europe, he said he could foresee “with his eyes closed” that lobbyists will oppose the development of these technologies.

During his keynote speech at Indaba, the minister noted that the electricity access rate for sub-Saharan Africa, just over 48%, is the lowest in the world.

However, the goal should not only be to invest in the energy transition, but also to invest in universal access to energy.

“Universal access to energy and the just energy transition will not only allow for the improvement of life and livelihoods of Africans, but will also increase economic activity and, by extension, mining,” he said. “Widespread access to energy on the African continent is an imperative of our time and requires our immediate and concerted effort.”

You may also like...