Eskom explores cleaner electricity options

Energy: Eskom explores cleaner electricity options

(LegalBrief 9 July, 2019)

Troubled state power utility Eskom is under pressure to produce more sustainable electricity as government and business in SA prioritise the renewable energy sector, and move away from coal power, writes Legalbrief. According to a BusinessLIVE report, Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel said in an interview last week on the sidelines of the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan: ‘We’re all looking at Eskom’s model having to embrace and include renewable energy.’ Independent companies produce the bulk of SA’s green power. While Eskom wants to diversify its energy mix, it will need funding to build solar plants and wind farms that has not yet been provided for under its current tariff allocation, according to Deidre Herbst, Eskom’s environmental manager. President Cyril Ramaphosa is considering whether to back a proposal by an advisory panel to improve Eskom’s debt terms by closing polluting coal plants early to make way for renewable energy. The utility has amassed more than $30bn of debt and is not selling enough power to cover its costs. ‘We’ve talked to investors elsewhere in the world, we’re identifying whether there are technologies that can assist with energy utilisation,’ said Patel. ‘Some of it would be renewable energy, some of it would be the cleaning of coal. Some of it would be bringing additional capacity to the country such as wind and solar.’

Full BusinessLIVE report (subscription needed)

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