COBENEFITS: From Coal to Renewables in Mpumalanga, South Africa

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  • COBENEFITS has released and Executive Report entitled ‘From Coal to Renewables in Mpumalanga’.
  • Working closely with partners in government departments and agencies, COBENEFITS connects the social and economic opportunities of renewable energies to climate change mitigation strategies.
  • COBENEFITS is part of the International Climate Initiative.

Mpumalanga is the centre of the South African coal industry, accounting for approximately 80 % of total coal production. Most of Eskom’s coal-fired plants are also located in the province. Consequently, Mpumalanga’s regional economy is highly dependent on the exploitation of coal.

However, the transformation of the South African energy system is gathering momentum. The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019 anticipates that 10.7 GW of existing coal-fired power stations will be decommissioned by 2030, with only Medupi and Kusile expected to remain operational by 2040. According to the DFFE, about 80 – 90% of greenhouse gas emission reductions in South Africa should come from the power sector, as it is both the largest emitter and the cheapest sector to mitigate in due to declining renewable energy prices.

The report reveals that without deliberate and appropriate planning, the gradual phase-out of coal would be expected to lead to substantial economic and socio-economic losses. A regional and national plan is therefore needed to ensure that this process meets the principles of a Just Transition, which include social inclusion, decent work for all, and poverty reduction.

Link to the full report HERE

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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