South Africa’s ageing electricity transmission grid needs investment of $15 billion by 2022 to develop new energy production, an executive at German state development bank KfW quoted by Reuters said on Sunday.
The renewable energy programs aim to deliver 17.8 gigawatts (GW) of green power by 2030 with 1,827 megawatts (MW) renew-able energy now contributing to an installed capacity of 45,000 MW.
“Five years ago we had a vision that our generation capacity would include a large portion of renewable energy,” said SA Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson opening the SA International Renewable Energy Conference (SAIREC) in Cape Town on Sunday.
“We had to advance our generation capacity but also had to reduce the country’s primary reliance on fossil fuels.
“We had to diversify the national network and stimulate an indigenous energy industry with the assistance of the private sector,” the minister said.
According to Ihno Baumfalk, KfW’s senior energy and climate project manager, “South Africa lacks transmission infrastructure which is needed to enable the country to meet its target.”
“At present you need to do grid strengthening to accommodate the additional energy generation which is being put into the grid,” he said on the sidelines of SAIREC.
Eskom spokesman Khulu Phasiwe said plans to strengthen the grid would be unveiled on October 16.
About 3 000 delegates from the private, public and academic sectors are expected to discuss strategies to accelerate the use of renewable energy during the conference which ends on Wednesday.