Home » South Africa Resists Outside Influence on Energy Transition Funds

South Africa Resists Outside Influence on Energy Transition Funds

by Adenike Adeodun

“No cornering into specific technologies,” insists Dr. Zwanani Titus Mathe, CEO of the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI). His firm assertion comes during African Energy Week 2023, highlighting the critical need for South Africa to retain control over its energy transition decisions.

Welcoming the hefty $8.5 billion climate finance aid, Mathe voices a crucial caveat. He urges that while embracing renewables is vital, the country shouldn’t face restrictions to only solar or wind projects. Instead, the focus should include clean coal initiatives, integral to South Africa’s energy backbone.

“Flexibility is key,” Mathe argues. “We need an all-encompassing approach, one not solely tethered to renewable energy.” This inclusive stance is essential, especially considering coal’s significant role, powering 87% of the nation’s grid.

Moreover, Mathe proposes a strategic pivot: tie funding to emission-reduction targets. For instance, aim for a 30% cut in greenhouse gases over ten years. However, the choice of the path to these goals should remain versatile. “Options,” he emphasizes, “are essential.”

Corroborating Mathe’s viewpoint, Dan Mashigo, Eskom Primary Energy GM, underscores the need for choice. “Diversification is our priority, not forced adherence to a single technology,” he notes. The funding strategy, still under discussion, leans towards enhancing, not replacing, the energy base. Mashigo adds, “Natural transition is preferable to enforced substitution.”

According to a report by Mining Weekly, he argument hinges on practicality. Accelerated decommissioning of coal-fired stations is impractical amidst energy shortages. “Substitution while in darkness is hardly a solution,” Mashigo points out. Hence, a gradual, organic shift is prudent.

With coal’s global upsurge by 1% in 2022, holding a 35.4% share, the conversation is timely. Renewable energy, though experiencing a 15% growth, calls for balanced integration. Thus, South Africa champions a middle ground, ensuring no sector is overshadowed in this pivotal transition.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

The African Miner is the vanguard of the mining industry, delivering world-class insight and news.

Latest Stories

© 2024 The African Miner. All Rights Reserved.