There are currently no plans to stop using coal in the country’s energy mix, Vice President David Mabuza said.
The vice president said so when he answered oral questions in the National Assembly on Thursday.
He said the country’s energy production is guided by the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019, which provides for the use of all available energy resources, including, among others, coal, gas and renewable sources. renewable energy.
“Currently, there are no plans for phasing out the use of coal as 99% of South Africa’s electricity supply is derived from coal and 30% of liquid fuels are derived from the same product. “, did he declare.
“Coal remains one of our greatest natural resources which will continue to be part of our energy mix in view of the IRP 2019.”
He said, however, that despite this, the country is committed to forging a low-carbon growth path that prioritizes environmental sustainability.
“We must ensure that we deploy new infrastructure, technologies and solutions that allow us to meet ambient air quality standards and protect the lives of communities from negative environmental externalities.”
“Going forward, IRP 2019 proposes the use of high-efficiency, low-emission coal technologies. The government is currently working on other measures such as the gas utilization master plan and the renewable energy master plan.
The Vice President said the government is considering the development of the nuclear procurement framework as proposed in the 2019 IRP.
He said it was part of medium and long-term plans to ensure security of energy supply.
“Having said that, it is important to highlight that, across the fleet, there are planned optimized plant closures that are aligned with the integrated resource plan, to balance capacity, environmental, social and economic,” Mabuza said.
“This is inevitable because, overall, these plants are approaching the end of their lifespan and have become uneconomical, unpredictable and expensive to operate.”
“Nine coal-fired power plants will be shut down by 2035, which will have a significant impact on reducing generation capacity,” he added.