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Coal to remain significant part of South Africa’s energy generation mix

Notwithstanding recent and continued advances in the roll-out of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) GM for cleaner fossil fuel use Professor Tony Surridge expects coal will continue to form a significant component of South Africa’s energy generation mix.

Although the recently released draft Integrated Resource Plan 2018 indicated a gradual decrease in coal-based electricity generation, he told delegates at the Fossil Fuel Foundation’s Clean Coal Technology conference on Tuesday that the installed coal-fired capacity in 2030 is expected to be about 46%.

Therefore, as a transition measure, Surridge pointed out that carbon capture and storage continue to be developed as one of the National Flagship Programmes of the National Climate Change Response White Paper.

South Africa, as a coal-based energy economy, is committed to try and decrease climate change impacts as a result of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. To achieve this, Surridge tells Mining Weekly Online that the country has placed its focus on energy efficiency and renewable energies.

Another alternative, Surridge highlighted, is to capture the CO2 and to use or store it.

“If we want to capture the carbon dioxide, we should then clean it, compress it and put it into a very appropriate geological formation, which is usually about between 1 km and 2 km deep,” he explained.

Meanwhile, in partnership with its stakeholders, Sanedi is scheduled to characterise a site for the pilot CO2 storage project during 2019.

As at November 10, 2018, the World Bank, as custodian of the Carbon Trust Fund, has made available $23-million in support of the pilot project.

Surridge, however, told delegates that a recently completed CO2 Utilisation Study indicated a number of options for the use of CO2 in South Africa.

A significant finding with regard to the study, he added, was the requirement for the generation of hydrogen and, in particular, the use of renewable energy. One of the options was the mineralisation of CO2, which is currently being further investigated in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
Source: Mining Weekly

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