R850-million to go to nuclear development – Energy Minister

 

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson says R850 million of her department’s R7.4-billion budget will go towards nuclear development

“On the nuclear front, R850 million has been allocated to the department and its relevant agencies in order to undertake further research and development, especially in regard to safety matters,” Joemat-Pettersson said while delivering the Energy Department’s Budget Vote today, 21 July 2014.

Regulation for the handling of hazardous materials, in terms of international obligations, and the development of nuclear policies and legislation to ensure the peaceful use of nuclear energy, will also be pursued.

South Africa’s nuclear energy policy was approved in 2008 and was further enhanced by the approval of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2010 – 2030, which stipulates that nuclear power will form part of the country’s energy mix to a level of 9 600 MW.

Of the appropriation of R7.4 billion for 2014/15, 93% of the funds are earmarked for transfer to municipalities and state owned entities (SOEs), with 7% going to the department’s operational and capital expenditure.

The appropriation (which is 14% higher than the 2013/14 appropriation) will allow for the expansion of the Integrated National Electrification Programme (INEP).

This will increase the number of households connected to the electricity grid and also the number of non-grid connections.

“We will focus on substation infrastructure, and promote energy efficiency through the continuation of the solar water geyser programme,”Joemat-Pettersson sid. “INEP therefore receives an allocation of R4.1 billion, with Eskom and municipalities allocated R2.5 billion and R1.6 billion respectively.  A further R96 million is allocated to the non-grid electrification programme,” said Minister Joemat-Pettersson.

The department will continue with the roll out of the Solar Water Heater project, which seeks to make solar water units more affordable and accessible. To this end, Eskom will use their R1.6 billion for the installation of more than 200 000 solar water heating units in residential areas.

In his State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Jacob Zuma said it was important to respond decisively to the country’s energy constraints.

“The President has been unambiguous on what is expected from the ministry and what will constitute a radical transformation of the energy sector.  The Energy Master Plan has been developed to crystalise the immediate actions that the Department of Energy and the entire energy sector will have to undertake.

“I will be undertaking a comprehensive review of the entire sector and where necessary, will bring about structural changes within the department and in the role and functioning of the various SOEs,” Minister Joemat-Pettersson said.

The Independent Power Producer (IPP) programme will continue to receive focus, while the department will also ensure that the Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) is finalised.

“This plan must be geared to address the short, medium and long term energy requirements of the country. One of the objectives of the revised IEP will be to look at multiple and alternative energy sources.

“On the electrification programme R4.1 billion has been made available and the department is confident that it will deliver at least 285 000 new grid and non-grid connection in this budget cycle,” said the minister.

This year, the department aims to finalise the first draft of the Electrification Master Plan to ensure that universal access can be reached by 2025. –

– Source: SAnews.gov.za

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