Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, our Minister at the helm of Electricity, recently provided some candid insights on the country’s strides in the Energy Action Plan (EAP). Unfurled by President Cyril Ramaphosa the previous year, the EAP’s main thrust is to transform South Africa’s energy landscape.
Progress Check: The Numbers
Dr. Ramokgopa provided a statistical breakdown:
- Fully Executed: 8 actions from the EAP.
- Steady Progress: 20 actions.
- Delayed, Yet Progressing: 12 actions.
- Off Course: 8 actions, with interventions in the pipeline.
He commented, “About 56% of the work we are doing is either completed or on track.” But acknowledged, “We are missing our own targets that we set ourselves.”
Five Pillars of the EAP
The ministry shared the underpinnings of their strategy, focusing on five essential interventions:
- Revamping Eskom: Enhancing current supply reliability.
- Encouraging Private Sector: Ushering in more private investment for generation capacity.
- Amplifying New Sources: Including renewables, gas, and battery storage.
- Empowering End-users: Advocating for rooftop solar investments by businesses and households.
- Transformative Steps: For the long-term energy security of the nation.
Major Achievements and Challenges
- International Collaborations: A notable 100MW has been sourced from our neighbors in Mozambique, with an additional 600MW inbound.
- Eskom’s Performance: The number of outages at Eskom’s stations has plummeted, with breakdowns dropping from 17000MW in May to a weekly average of 15000MW recently.
- More Efficient Recovery: There’s been a marked reduction in the delays for restoring offline units, from 2000MW to 1300MW within the last week.
- Private Investment: This sector has seen a spike, especially with the removal of previous thresholds.
- Green Energy: Through the Independent Power Producers, the government is avidly backing renewable energy. There’s a whopping 66GW of projects queued up.
Your Role in Energy Conservation
The Minister took a moment to underscore the pivotal role of everyday South Africans in this energy journey. He extolled the virtues of simple actions like turning off unutilized lights and appliances, and more diligent management during peak hours.
He emphasized, “Demand management is the fastest and most efficient way to reduce demand particularly during peak hours.” But what resonated most was his poignant remark, “By switching off lights [you are not using], you are switching on the South African economy.”
The essence? By mindfully managing our energy consumption, not only do we combat load-shedding, but we also bolster our economy – all without compromising our quality of life.