Image: The Conversation

The Minerals Council of South Africa is set to develop a Net Zero 2050 Action Plan that aims to provide a platform for collaborative greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction efforts in the mining sector.

The mining industry of South Africa has been outspoken in its support for the development and implementation of renewable and green hydrogen technologies, with the Minerals Council indicating their consideration of the establishment of a Green Hydrogen Leadership Forum for the sector.

The country’s dependence on a reliable energy supply chain has been noted, with the Minerals Council stating, “The transition must support greater investment in renewable energy over time without compromising our energy security,” and that the implementation of renewables will involve, “clear, jointly developed plans involving government, industry, and trade unions.” 

The Minerals Council has expressed interest in the development of 1.5 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2024, with the country’s national power utility company, Eskom, setting goals to reduce its coal-fired power station capacity by 11 GW by 2030.

“While the share of coal will decline over time, it will remain a significant provider of baseload electricity, employment, exports, and contributor to the economy over future decades,” The Minerals Council added. 

The Net Zero 2050 Action Plan follows the announcement by Roger Baxter, CEO of the Minerals Council of South Africa, on 23 September with plans to invest in 2 GW of renewable energy to meet the industry’s base-load demands that are not being met by Eskom.

“Our members have already indicated that they are planning to invest in about 2 GW of renewable energy, supplementary embedded generation,” Baxter stated on 23 September, adding, “that power will obviously not only assist the national grid and ourselves, but also contribute towards the decarbonization of the economy over time.” 

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