23 October 2017

South Africa: Petroleum Sector Codes to Promote Transformation

Energy Minister David Mahlobo says government is working on petroleum sector codes to promote transformation in the industry.

Addressing the Africa Oil and Gas Week Conference, which was held in Cape Town on Monday, Minister Mahlobo said the work being done is meant to ensure the meaningful participation of the disadvantaged sections of South Africa's society.

"We have to work together towards a radically transformed and inclusive economy.

"This is a non-negotiable in our context and includes emphasis on skills transfer and enterprise development to create additional opportunities for transformation and empowerment in the country, the regions and the continent as a whole," Minister Mahlobo said.

He said the sustainability of the country's environment is key. South Africa has set ambitious carbon reduction targets.

"Sustainability of energy supply therefore needs to include a diversified energy mix that uses the most efficient primary energy resource for each application or energy service rendered," Minister Mahlobo said.

Government is already seeking ways and new technologies to use fossil fuels with minimal carbon emissions, in line with the country's climate change commitments.

"South Africa recognises the role of nuclear power in ensuring security of energy supply and meeting the challenge of climate change. We promote an energy mix of coal, gas, renewables and nuclear," he said.

Minister Mahlobo said each of the options has their role -- some of the energy sources are intermittent supply, while others, such as nuclear and coal, are base-load supply.

"Our primary policy instrument in this regard is the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which details our proposed energy mix and interventions over a 20-year period," he said.

According to the Minister, the IRP Review is currently underway and the finalisation of the policy is expected soon.

"Given South Africa's current socio-economic realities, our development focus and available resources, we have to take a pragmatic approach. We are implementing our energy mix policy by having 30% of clean energy by 2025," he said.

Minister Mahlobo said the multifaceted nature of the energy policy requires for factors such as economic, social and environmental concerns to be considered in energy planning.

"There are therefore different sets of variables that inform energy planning nationally, regionally and globally and there cannot be a one-source fits all approach.

"As demonstrated by our renewable energy programme, we are committed to transition to a low-carbon economy, with priority to be given to clean energy alternatives, subject to current technological and cost constraints," he said.

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