Obtaining energy security based on reliable, affordable and clean energy sources and long-term sustainable jobs is at the centre of South Africa's Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.
South Africa fully appreciates the risk of climate change for current and future generations and the need for a transition to a low carbon economy, said mineral resources and energy minister, Gwede Mantashe, in his ministerial address at the Enlit Africa conference. His speech was delivered by Advocate Thabo Mokoena, director general, Department of Mineral Resources and Energy.
"It is critical for the country to fully understand the trade-off between the new investments needed in power generation and the reduction in coal mines’ production, as well as the eventual closure of some stations around 2040, as driven by different levels of emission targets," he said.
The National Development Plan needs South Africa to transition to a lower carbon-intensive economy, we recognise the challenges proposed by climate change, given our country ‘s developmental needs, and that coal power generation currently represents around 74% as part of our generation mix”. The rest of the country’s energy is provided by 7% hydro, 4% wind, 3% solar PV, 1% solar CSP, 7% oil and 3% nuclear.
The country was making steady progress on its hydrogen society roadmap, “meant to set out a vision for an inclusive hydrogen society in South Africa, so that an enabling compact between industry, labour, community and government can be developed", Mantashe said.
According to the minister, “the evolution of a just energy transition in South Africa will require a balanced, integrated, enhanced and innovative international collaboration at both technical and financial levels”.