Minerals Council South Africa is developing a Net Zero 2050 Action Plan and pathway towards achieving net-zero greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions.
The action plan for mining will include increasing investment in renewable-energy technologies; research, development and innovation into new technologies; the ongoing adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies and modern mining methods; critical skills development; engaging the supplier base for collaborative programmes on GHG reductions; and a “realistic people- centred just energy transition”.
The Minerals Council has already hosted a detailed workshop on the opportunities provided by a green hydrogen economy and consideration is being given to establishing a Green Hydrogen Leadership Forum to progress this agenda.
In a statement on October 7, the Minerals Council recognised South Africa’s dependence on a reliable energy supply chain that is crucial for development and inclusive growth, as well as the significant employment and economic value created in the coal value chain.
“The transition must support greater investment in renewable energy over time without compromising our energy security,” the council said.
Minerals Council members have targeted an investment in about 1.6 GW of renewables capacity over the next three years, while power utility Eskom is planning to retire about 11 GW of coal-fired power station capacity over the next decade.
Considering that the energy mix will require much greater investment in renewables, the Minerals Council emphasised that “clear, jointly developed plans involving government, industry and trade unions” is required to manage the transition in a just and people-centred manner.