ON TARGET: Dipuo Peters says government will meet its power targets. Picture: Elvis Ntombela
The Department of Energy is on track to meet its targets of electrifying thousands of homes and providing solar water heaters as part of government’s effort to increase the use of renewable energy.
The department told MPs yesterday that the delivery targets set out in the agreement between President Jacob Zuma and Energy Minister Dipuo Peters would be met.
However, the department said that the use of energy was increasing in the country and they wanted more people to use solar water heaters.
Deputy director-general for hydrocarbons Tshidiso Maqubela said that they were targeting one million households to used solar water heaters.
Currently, there were 270000 families that use solar water panels he said.
Maqubela said they would soon reach that target. The department had secured R4.7bn from the national Treasury to ensure that they reached the target of one million homes by 2014.
“The programme is expected to create 14000 jobs,” he said.
Maqubela also told the committee they wanted to reduce the backlog of the electricity distribution infrastructure.
He said they wanted to cut down the backlog from R27.4bn to R15bn in the next two years.
He also told MPs that they wanted 92% of households to have access to electricity by 2014.
As part of the programme of reducing infrastructure backlog, the department had identified 23 district municipalities that would benefit from the programme.
Maqubela said the district municipalities cut across all nine provinces and had specific needs that the department had identified. These municipalities would be prioritised.
MPs welcomed a decision by the government to enter into a partnership with the Democratic Republic of the Congo to share the Grand Inga Hydroelectric Power Project to produce 4000MW of electricity for the two countries.