South Africa announces 2030 renewable energy goals
South Africa has announced its latest plans and goals for adding more renewable sources to its energy mix and decreasing its reliance on coal by 2030.
The Department of Energy has published an updated Integrated Resource Plan, which states that overall renewable energy resources are set to grow to 26% of total energy over the next 12 years.
At present, 80% of energy in South Africa comes from coal-fired plants which according to Mail and Guardian are around 40-50 years old. Therefore, the country is taking steps to move away from the high-emission fuel as well as diversifying its energy production.
The goals are to reach 11.5GW capacity of onshore wind, 8GW capacity of solar PV and 600MW capacity of CSP (concentrated solar power) by 2030. This will involve the addition of 5.6GW in PV capacity and 8.2GW of wind.
Notably, the country has dropped initial plans to increase nuclear output. On Monday as the plans were released, Energy Minister Jedd Radebe stated: “There will be a study to determine if more nuclear is needed after 2030. But until then, there is no increase in nuclear generation envisaged.”
Following 60 days for the public to comment on the proposal, it will be sent to cabinet to be signed off.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.