Renewables & Energy Efficiency News South Africa

Eskom makes progress on renewable energy transition

Eskom said on Friday, 14 October, it had signed agreements for four renewable power producers to use land around its power plants, which would accelerate getting new capacity online.
Source: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko
Source: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

The deals should help bring more renewable capacity onto South Africa's power grid, which is primarily supported by coal-fired electricity.

Eskom has committed to replace 22,000 megawatts (MW), or almost half of its thermal power capacity, with renewable power by 2035. But progress has been slow and the country's renewable capacity bidding rounds have been delayed by months.

Eskom said the agreements would give the independent power producers access to commercial leases and use of land parcels to set up renewable capacity at two of its power stations with direct access to the national grid.

Capacity available within 2-3 years

The projects would consist of wind, solar and battery storage and are expected to generate up to 2,000MW of power, it said, adding it would take at least 24 to 36 months for the capacity to come online.

The agreements are "compelling proof" of the energy transition to a lower carbon economy, said Eskom's CEO Andre de Ruyter in a statement.

South Africa is the world's 12th biggest carbon emitter, pumping out 430 megatonnes of CO2 in 2019. With coal-fired power plants accounting for 80% of its power generation, Eskom's transition to renewables is a priority.

Source: Reuters

Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world's largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day.

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