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South Africa secures US$497 mln for a renewable energy project

Friday, 04 November 2022 15:49
South Africa secures US$497 mln for a renewable energy project

(Ecofin Agency) - South Africa has decided to increase the share of renewable energies in its energy mix, to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. To contribute to the efforts, the World Bank and other partners will disburse US$497 million for the conversion of a coal-fired power plant in Komati.

South Africa will receive US$497 million from the World Bank and other partners to finance a renewable energy project, a release dated November 3 announces.

The funding will be used specifically "to decommission and repurpose the Komati coal-fired power plant using renewables and batteries". Under the country’s energy transition program, it will allow the installation of a combination of 220 MW of renewable energy solutions (including 150 MW of solar photovoltaic and 70 MW of wind) and 150 MW of batteries to replace the current coal-fired power plant and improve the quality of the energy supply and the stability of the grid. 

A few years ago, South Africa initiated actions to move towards a low-carbon development path, with reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy for every resident. By 2030, it hopes to retire 12 GW of its coal-fired power plants while developing 18 GW of renewable energy, relying primarily on the private sector.

Decommissioning and repurposing the Komati coal-fired power plant “is critical to our understanding of the sustainability of decommissioning, repurposing, and mitigating the socio-economic impacts for workers and communities before we scale up the move of the power sector into a low-carbon path,” said South African Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan.

Ultimately, the authorities hope the project will have positive social benefits for the Komati region. Part of the project's funding will be used to create economic opportunities for local communities, which should benefit about 15,000 people. Workers at the Komati plant will either be transferred to other facilities operated by Eskom, the national power company, or take part in upskilling programs for the deployment of renewable energy plants.  

Moutiou Adjibi Nourou

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