Emergency power could be online in 2 years - Mantashe

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South Africa received hundreds of responses to a call for 3 000 megawatts of emergency power that it estimates could be brought online within two years.

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy put out a request for information in December to gather solutions for power generation in the midst of outages that are slowing economic growth.

There were 481 responses to the RFI that included options for gas, liquid fuels, coal, renewables, storage and nuclear, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe told lawmakers on Wednesday.

A preliminary analysis found that "some proposals can bring power to the grid in less than 24 months," Mantashe said. The original request asked for short-term power-supply options of as much as 3 000 megawatts within a year.

Analysis by the department "also suggests that longer-term contracting is required to ensure prices do not negatively affect the current tariffs."

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa also received 132 applications for a total capacity of 59 megawatts of generation for own use, according to Mantashe. The licensing requirements for this category have been removed in an effort to reduce South Africa’s power supply deficit.

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