Natural gas is required to play a major role in South Africa’s future energy mix, according to a new report from Econometrix.
Econometrix Managing Director, Rob Jeffrey said that “Gas is necessary for South Africa to meet its target growth rates and political, economic and social objectives. There should be a national plan to substantially increase the use of gas.”
The report comes a day before industry leaders receive clarity by the Department of Energy on its Independent Power Producer (IPP) programme to deliver 3 126 MW of gas-fired power generation.
Stakeholders will meet in Cape Town this week at the South Africa Gas Options meeting, where they will engage with Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson and Eskom Chief Executive Officer, Brian Molefe.
Jeffrey said creating a natural gas sector would unlock billions of rands of investment, while stimulating new industries and skilled job creation.
The report shows that when combined with the right policies, an additional 8 600 MW of electricity from gas could see Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grow by R645bn, with the creation of up to 1 720 000 jobs.
Econometrix said that gas is the cheapest alternative to coal and nuclear, offering security of supply at competitive prices, adding it would supply reliable power for peak demand periods or when renewables are not generating electricity, and adds to the essential reserve capacity.