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Picture: 123RF/MALP
Picture: 123RF/MALP

SA’s energy transition is in a tumultuous phase but it is part of the wider revolution occurring after a small corner of Eskom’s monopoly was opened to the private sector.

In this publication, produced by research house Intellidex and sponsored by Standard Bank, we consider how the energy sector of the future is being shaped and the many inputs, hurdles to be overcome and opportunities this radical change will entail.

Among other things we look at the complexities and opportunities of funding renewable energy value chains, as well as avoiding leaving communities devastated in the wake of the transition to renewables in what is likely to be as disruptive a change as the transition to mechanisation in previous centuries. Instead community benefits must be maximised and the social and biodiversity aspects considered, as evidenced by the Garob, Excelsior and Kangnas wind farms, Matla Solar and Boikanyo Solar projects featured.

Eskom, faced with debt and busy restructuring, is reinventing itself for a low carbon future as it gradually replaces its ageing coal plants, but it is also facing political hurdles, with wrangling over the pace of SA’s transition looking set to delay the flow of green funding pledged at the COP26 climate change conference. The speed of the transition is under pressure as the EU and other major economies introduce carbon taxes that will punish high emitters.

Applications to register embedded generation projects by the private sector have been underwhelming, yet private sector appetite to finance SA’s commitment to a future of net zero emissions is robust. At the same time any energy technology except renewables seems to rouse public resistance, so where does that leave nuclear and gas?

SA is already one of the world’s biggest markets for energy storage systems, creating a manufacturing opportunity for the country, while it also has ideal conditions to leapfrog into a global leader in the production of green hydrogen.

We examine all these aspects and more in this publication.

 

Browse through the full publication below (zoom in or go full screen for ease of reading):

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