South Africa Energy

The government has pledged to increase exploration for gas in the National Development Plan and promulgated a 20-year Integrated Resource Plan to diversify the energy mix by boosting nuclear, natural gas and renewable power generation capacities. With an estimated 3.5% of global coal reserves, South Africa has traditionally benefitted from an ample supply of cheap fuel. It has the fifth-most energy-intensive economy in the world, accounting for 30% of total power consumption in Africa. South Africa generates 94% of its electricity from coal. The Department of Energy expects to reach the National Development Plan target of universal electricity access by 2025, five years ahead of schedule. Although it has one of the largest, most developed energy sectors on the continent, after three years of less-than-expected economic growth and tight capacity margins, South Africa is again reformulating its 20-year plan in a bid to address long-term energy security, equity of access to electricity and environmental sustainability.

This chapter contains interviews with Nosizwe Nokwe-Macamo, Group CEO, PetroSA; and Eddie O’Connor, CEO, Mainstream Renewable Power.