Eskom Seeks USD 10 Billion to Transition from Coal to Renewables by 2050

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  • South Africa’s state owned power utility Eskom is pitching a USD 10 billion plan to global lenders for a transition from coal to renewables by 2050. 
  • International news agency Reuters reports that discussions have already started with development finance institutions like the World Bank and the African Development Bank.

Mandy Rambharos, general manager at Eskom’s Just Energy Transition office. Image credit: NBI

“It’s a lot of money, so what we are putting on the table is to say to funders: South Africa can offer you the biggest point source of carbon emissions reduction in the world,” said Mandy Rambharos, general manager at Eskom’s Just Energy Transition office told Reuters.

Related news: a case of turning South Africa’s coal fields into a renewable energy hub

Eskom, which generates more than 90% of the country’s electricity chiefly by burning coal, is looking for around $7 to $8 for every tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent it cuts from its greenhouse gas emissions. Eskom is the highest carbon emitter in Africa at around 213 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent a year. It’s mostly ageing coal powered repeatedly exceeds carbon emissions limits. Read more

The utility is already looking at repurposing some of their old coal stations to renewable energy using wind, solar and battery storage technologies. Read more

Related news: Eskom reduces debt by 83 billion

Rambharos said Eskom was modelling different scenarios to reach its target of “net zero” emissions by 2050.

Analysts have flagged the carbon intensity of South Africa’s economy as a major risk as investors and governments become increasingly attuned to climate concerns, and Rambharos said it was time to act.

“We will be left in this little bubble where we are not going to be able to export our wine or our fruit or our cars if we don’t transition,” she said. “The whole world is transitioning, we have to get on this bandwagon – for South Africa to remain competitive and for our economy to grow,” Rambharos told Reuters.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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