Published June 6, 2013
The global mix of energy in South Africa is a worldwide opportunity as an energy influencer. The constraints are managing the rush and the partnerships that will be formed. As a rich nation in resources the challenge is to manage roles, responsibilities and resources efficiently. The expectation to consider the roll out and energy states there are “Plans afoot to increase the role of gas in SA’s energy mix” that shift from oil and gas for additional consumption.
The bigger news is the identification of natural gas as the significant player in energy. The model over the last five years has shifted heavily from oil and gas to renewables. The shift boomeranged as many markets were not competitive as China and raised a flag that was resolved over time. Political hit was placed on renewables in the U.S. with heavy funding in companies that failed to succeed.
Now, the player is rising to be the “abundant global resource, natural gas is poised to take centre stage in the world’s total energy mix by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), with more than 200 years of proved reserves and a worldwide increase in gas consumption, partly due to the global need for energy security.”
Engineering News reports the advancement of “natural gas finds in Southern Africa – once one of the world’s leading mining investment destinations – countries like Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana and Tanzania are steadily contributing to Africa’s total natural gas reserves.”
Nations rich in resources are undoubtedly playing hardball to define their needs against the partnerships that can overrule the direct goal to energy.
“According to the latest BP Statistical Review, these were estimated to be about 513 tcf at the end of 2011 – about 7% of the world’s reserves, which amount to 7 361 tcf. Compounded with a steady increase in gas discoveries, this is garnering significant investment interest worldwide.”
“However, gas currently accounts for only 3% of South Africa’s coal-intensive energy mix. This is a gross underrepresentation, say energy-sector analysts, who have commented on the notably low proportion of electricity generation capacity allocated to natural gas in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2010.”
The gap in all the energy mix opportunities is the role of fortified planning against constraints within legislation, extraction and logistics that are directly correlated to smooth operations and capacity building. The momentum of energy is best when the business can see their platform of engagement.
Government continues to acknowledge the country’s gas-anemic energy mix, with plans under way to increase the future role of gas in South Africa from 3% in 2010 to a projected 11% in 2030.
To reach the goals of 2030 the constraints must be identified an removed to support the proposed time frames. The cost to erratic changes can lead to disruption in process, production, investment and management. The political football is not force drive but a planned team play for success.
“The IRP2010, approved by Cabinet in May 2011, provides the nation with a 20-year electricity development plan, recognising the need to pursue clean-energy strategies. This includes an outline of the role of natural gas as a future alternative source to generate electricity.”
The consumer role in the process is adoption and interest to not place barrier or road blocks to legislation yet, consumers are not engaged in the energy mix dialogue and are passively engaged downstream. The energy mix formulation is ecosystem and stakeholder matrices that considers risk, cost and infrastructure to produce overall wins. Consumers are disengaged from the carbon and emissions schemes that support environmental impacts.
“The NPC’s NDP 2030 state that this is possible, outlining the country’s potential to partially substitute coal for gas to help reduce the country’s carbon intensity and greenhouse-gas emissions through the development of offshore natural gas plays, coal-bed methane deposits, shale gas resources in the Karoo basin and liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports, which could be used for power production and gas-to-liquid (GTL) refineries, among other applications. The determination calls for the commissioning of 12 GW of private power, of which 3 200 MW will be dedicated to different forms of gas-to-power (GTP) technology, independent of State-owned power utility Eskom.”
The cost to decommissioning large infrastructural plants will trigger growth and expansion across platforms to build and distributed energy solutions that steps beyond the gas goal to enter the need for renewables. The plan for an energy mix is not an either or but a multi lateral matrices of varied platforms that integrate point-to-point. The concern and causalities is in detailing the probabilities of failure and implementation that produce results for 2030. Consider the short time frame to evolve the substantive energy platform to a scalable energy mix by 2030. The requirements are hard lined and inclusive. The plan is not only for the energy companies but constituents including, community and politicians to understand the need the long-term as well as, the immediate needs to support the processes for energy leadership.
- Thinking of our Energy Mix and Plating Food (landsdssustainable.com)
- Survey: Nuclear to play a key role in Europe’s energy mix (smartbrief.com)