Gas a game changer for SA: Eskom CEO

Sapa | 14 May, 2013 | Times LIVE

Gas can be a “game-changer” for South Africa in the power sector, Eskom CEO Brian Dames said on Tuesday.

He said Eskom was particularly aware of the deficit in access to electricity, and that there was a growing role for gas in the country and in the sub-Saharan region.

“It is a lot less carbon intensive than fossil fuels, and some of the cleanest fossil fuel,” he told delegates at the African Utility Week conference in Cape Town.

“Gas infrastructure is also cost-effective and quick to construct, and so we see gas, both natural and unconventional gas, as a potential game-changer for South Africa and for the region, in terms of providing a cleaner energy mix going forward.”

Dames said energy efficiency was also an “important game-changer”.

“If looking at a more sustainable future, the investment in energy efficiency is much cheaper and more immediate than investment in new power generation.”

He said energy efficiency could be just as effective in ensuring power utilities balanced the supply and demand needs of an energy system.

According to Dames, Eskom had saved around 3000MW on the national grid since 2005, through special initiatives.

It had installed over 55 million compact fluorescent lightbulbs and more than 330 000 solar water geysers nationally.