Gas is a desirable and integral part of South Africa’s future energy mix, but the country’s significant reliance on coal is not going to dissipate with the “flick of a switch”, says industry body South African Oil and Gas Alliance (SAOGA)
Executive Director Niall Kramer.
There is pressure from the public, environmental groups and financial institutions to embrace cleaner alternative energy sources for environmental reasons. The trend is towards renewables, owing not only to the country’s abundance of sun and wind but also the decreasing cost of renewable-energy technologies, he explains.
However, the inherent variability of weather patterns will require alternative power sources to supplement renewable-energy sources. Gas-to-power plants present a viable option, says Kramer, highlighting that, although a fossil fuel, when burned, gas emits 50% less carbon dioxide than coal.
“But, the movement towards gas won’t be uncontested,” he cautions.