Deputy Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Nobuhle Nkabane said South Africa is aiming to reduce the country’s dependence on coal.
Nkabane spoke at the Northern Cape Mining and Minerals Investment Conference in Kimberly on Thursday.
The conference is positioned as a business dialogue and investment promotion and exchange platform for the direct contact of stakeholders involved in mining, with special emphasis on junior and emerging mining ventures.
Nkabane said there is an “umbilical cord” between South African coal mining and energy.
“Currently, our dependence on coal as a primary energy source is 75%. We have committed to gradually contribute our fair share as part of our approved nationally determined contributions, and we aim to reduce coal consumption in the power generation sector to below 60% by 2030.”
In his February State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africa will “continue to strive for an energy mix that includes renewables, battery and pump storage, gas as a means of transition and nuclear at a pace the country can afford.” afford, as well as exploring carbon capture and the use of technologies.”
Nkabane this is what is essentially laid down in the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 and agreed in the multi-year government framework.
“Together with the rest of the world, we continue to explore technologies that can reduce carbon emissions, including Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage or CCUS. However, we insist that our country deserves energy security, as provided from a baseload perspective by the current coal-fired power plants and the Koeberg nuclear power plant.”
Nkabane, like all other countries, said that South Africa cannot plunge into technological and energy insecurity.
“In 2021, we amended Schedule Two of the Electricity Regulation Act (ERA) to allow for embedded power generation of up to 100 megawatts without the need for a permit.”
Nkabane said that as an intensive electricity-consuming industry, the mining sector will benefit from self-generation in terms of cost and ability to secure its own supply.