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Renewables accounted for 16.1% of South Africa’s power mix in 2020

17 Mar 2021

South Africa’s system demand for electricity decreased by 5.1% in 2020, according to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Reduced demand in 2020 was met mostly by reduced coal (-5%), nuclear (-15%), and diesel and gas (-10%), while others energy source increased production, particularly solar PV (+25%) and pumped-storage (+7%). The electricity mix remains dominated by coal-fired power generation which contributed 83.5% to system demand in 2020, followed by renewables (including hydropower, 16.1%) and nuclear (5.2%). At the end of 2020, South Africa had 51.6 GW of wholesale/public nominal capacity, including 37.9 GW of coal, 3.4 GW of diesel, 3.3 GW of hydropower, 2.5 GW of wind, 2.5 GW of solar and 1.9 GW of solar. Overall, 723 MW of coal, 415 MW of wind and 558 MW of solar PV were commissioned during 2020.

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