PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA, March 11– Energy Minister Ben Martins has acknowledged that South Africa is racing against time in finding alternative energy sources to feed its growing energy demand.
Speaking during the launch of projects in Port Elizabeth in Eastern cape Province on Monday, Martins said South Africa’s development trajectory had to look beyond coal if it is to be sustainable.
On Thursday last week, load shedding was introduced by power utility Eskom for the first time in six years amid tight power supply margins. Eskom said the electricity grid had stabilised but remained vulnerable.
Martins rejected reports that South Africa exported all its good quality coal. “The renewable energy projects will assist the country to avoid load shedding. Our policy is to use coal in terms of what the respective quantities and qualities for best purpose,” he added.
“So some of the coal will be exported but also some of the high quality coal will be utilised in order to further meet the needs of our country,” said the minister.
Eskom has meanwhile blamed wet coal following sustained rains for the introduction of load shedding last week.