Coetzee, who was appointed in July, says gas will definitely play a role in South Africa’s transitioning electricity system, as it offers the flexibility required to complement variable renewable energy plants. In addition, GTP plants can be built relatively quickly and have lower emissions than coal-fired stations.
Speaking at a seminar hosted by Nedbank and EE Publishers, she acknowledged that gaps remained in South Africa’s gas policy framework and indicated that Eskom’s weak financial position also posed procurement challenges, with the utility remaining the single buyer of power produced by independent power producers (IPPs).
However, the imminent promulgation of the updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), together with the fact that a ministerial determination was already in place for the procurement of over 3 000 MW of GTP capacity by 2030, meant that South Africa was not entirely constrained by the absence of a coherent framework.
The draft IRP envisages the first 1 000 MW of GTP capacity being introduced into the South African grid by 2024, with a further 2 000 MW to be added by 2027.