Eskom keen to cut coal dependency

2010-11-24 07:06

Eskom plans to reduce its dependency on coal over the next 20 years, the chief executive at the power utility, Brian Dames, has said.

He said the utility was planning to build 5 gigawatts of “cleaner coal” generation capacity after 2025, Business Report reported today.

At present, about 90% of Eskom’s electricity is generated through coal.

Dames said government’s integrated resource plan would bring coal’s share of generation down from 86% to below 50% over the next 20 years as the energy mix would be diversified to include nuclear, wind, solar, biomass and other sources.

“Eskom aspires to lead South Africa’s nuclear programme, in partnership, and to play a lead role in solar power,” said Dames who was speaking in Johannesburg yesterday.

Coal reduction was among the goals Eskom had set for itself as part of its new strategic direction.

It also plans to invest in more opportunities in southern Africa where there are potentially 200 million customers.

“Over the next few months, we will have a detailed business plan for the region. There are a lot of exciting opportunities in the region that we don’t have,” Dames said.

Opportunities had been identified in countries such as Botswana and Namibia and a business plan would be presented to the board in February.

He said the firm planned to build transmission networks and have the private sector handle the generation side.

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