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Gwede Mantashe’s Energy Vision for South Africa: Nuclear and Renewables

  • Gwede Mantashe said South Africa should use “nuclear energy & renewables” till wind and solar supplies affordable energy at scale.
  • Currently, Koeberg Nuclear Power Station is the only power station that supplies nuclear power to the country.

Mantashe addressed 2022 Windaba delegates in Cape Town on Wednesday. The minister said wind’s rate and price are not yet ideal for the country’s needs and cited its lack of base-load power, or the ability to create power 24 hours a day.

“Support renewables with time limits and needs. Merging them with nuclear will have an impact, said Mantashe.

Mantashe said renewable energy projects must be given time to generate power. He reminded delegates about ongoing load shedding.

gwede mantashe

“If you approve a renewable project, don’t expect load shedding to end this weekend. After 12 to 18 months, they’ll generate energy. My experience: “If I’m wrong, correct me,” he said.

Nuclear energy and renewables

Gwede Mantashe’s comments come a week after he told Africa Oil Week delegates in Cape Town that South Africa should not be dictated the pace or details of its energy transition and that such a transition should address energy poverty, musing that “fossil fuels kill, but hunger kills faster.”

READ MORE: Nuclear Energy 2.0: Rosatom’s Clean Electricity

Gwede Mantashe: “Transition is not an event.”

He urged renewable energy proponents to engage with the government constructively.

“My mother told me, ‘Don’t yell at kids, they get dumb.'” We’re dom, so stop yelling. We’ll listen to a reasonable argument. Exactly. Gwede Mantashe: “When you yell, we become dom.”

nuclear energy atoms

He told delegates that Bid Window 5, Bid Window 6, and the battery storage procurement program have a total capacity of 13,813MW.

Koeberg Power Station

Koeberg Nuclear Power Station is South Africa’s only nuclear power plant and is located near Cape Town. It is situated on the west coast of South Africa, about 30 kilometers north of the city center.

Koeberg Nuclear Power Station consists of two pressurized water reactors (PWRs) with a combined capacity of around 1,860 megawatts. The plant has been operational since 1984 and plays a significant role in South Africa’s electricity generation, providing a substantial portion of the country’s baseload power.

koeberg power station

The power plant is operated by Eskom, the state-owned electricity utility. Koeberg Nuclear Power Station is subject to strict safety regulations and is designed to adhere to international standards and best practices in nuclear power operations.

In addition to having the most southerly location of any nuclear power plant in the world, it also has turbine generators that are the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.

Koeberg supplies clean baseload energy at the cheapest price for South Africa

Koeberg’s History

The was built in 1976, and the first unit was synchronised to the grid on April 4, 1984. The second unit did the same on July 25, 1985. It can be found on the Atlantic coast 27 kilometers to the north of Cape Town at a place called Duynfontein. The Western Cape is one of the most rapidly developing regions in South Africa, and Koeberg ensures that it always has an adequate supply of electricity. Over the course of decades, it has maintained a high level of both safety and productivity, and it still has years of service left.

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