“Gas is set to be the fastest growing fossil fuel, as well as the cleanest, meeting as much of the increase in demand as coal and oil combined” (BP Energy Outlook 2035, February 2015). “Government’s Gas Utilisation Master Plan (Gump), Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) and Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) underline that gas is not only a substitutable alternative to coal, but could also evolve to become a substantial part of South Africa’s energy mix.” (Engineering News, July 2014, Moodley)
The loss to the economy from load-shedding can be calculated to be about US$3 per kilowatt hour (kWh). This is because of the loss of production and confidence in an economy, which harms economic output and growth (Nicky Smith, April 2015). The use of gas as an energy source reduces the need for load shedding and paves the way for growth and development in spite of the electricity shortage.
The Department of Energy is also very positive about the prospects of gas in South Africa. “Current development of regional gas-fields will lead to natural gas becoming a more important fuel in South Africa. With the availability of natural gas in neighboring countries, such as Mozambique and Namibia, and the discovery of offshore gas reserves in South Africa, the gas industry in South Africa is undergoing rapid expansion (www.energy.gov.za)”.
For every kWh of electricity saved, 0.56kg of coal and 1.5 liters of water are saved and 1.03kg less CO2 is produced. Gas as energy source contribute directly to a cleaner environment.