South Africa’s Green Revolution: How $11.8 Billion Will Power a Just Energy Transition

by Victor Adetimilehin

South Africa, the most coal-dependent economy in the G20, is set to undergo a historic shift to cleaner and renewable energy sources, thanks to a landmark partnership with several developed countries. The Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), launched at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow last year, aims to support South Africa’s efforts to decarbonise its power sector, create new jobs and industries, and ensure a fair and inclusive transition for workers and communities affected by coal plant closures.

The JETP initially pledged $8.5 billion in grants, loans and investments from France, Germany, the UK, the US and the EU to finance South Africa’s Just Energy Transition Investment Plan (JET IP), which outlines the country’s priorities and projects for the next five years. The JET IP focuses on three key sectors: electricity, new-energy vehicles and green hydrogen. The plan envisages replacing 10 GW of coal-fired power plants with 15 GW of renewable energy and battery storage, electrifying the transport sector, and developing a green hydrogen economy.

The JETP has recently expanded with the addition of Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain, bringing the total funding pool to $11.8 billion. More countries have expressed interest in joining the partnership, which is seen as a model for international cooperation on climate action and just transition. The JETP is also expected to leverage private-sector funding and mobilise domestic resources to achieve its goals.

The JETP is not only a financial deal, but also a political and technical one. It involves close coordination and dialogue between the South African government, the public utility Eskom, the international partners, and various stakeholders, including labour unions, civil society and communities. The partnership also provides technical assistance and knowledge sharing to help South Africa implement its transition plan and overcome the challenges of integrating renewables and batteries into the national grid.

The JETP is a win-win situation for both South Africa and the international community. It will help South Africa reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, improve its energy security and reliability, create new economic opportunities and social benefits, and contribute to the global efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It will also demonstrate to other coal-dependent countries that a just energy transition is possible and desirable, with the right vision, leadership and support.

The JETP is a groundbreaking initiative that could transform South Africa’s energy landscape and pave the way for a greener and more prosperous future for the country and the world.

Source: MSN

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