SA outlines plan to reduce reliance on coal energy

By Mike Cohen and Paul Burkhardt

(Bloomberg) – South Africa intends to finalise a plan on how to ease reliance on coal this fiscal year as the government prepares for rising energy demand amid ongoing strain on state utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd.

Implementation of the road map should then take place in 2022/23, according to a draft National Infrastructure Plan for 2050 distributed late Tuesday. The state is also seeking to procure thousands of megawatts in emergency and renewable power in the months through March next year, it said.

South Africa’s government is battling to resolve a long-running electricity crisis caused largely by under-investment and mismanagement at Eskom, which is regularly forced to trigger rolling blackouts. Recent initiatives include plans to raise the amount private enterprises are allowed to produce, and looking at means to diversify into gas and renewables.

The government sees demand for energy rising by 30% by 2050, according to the infrastructure plan.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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