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Energy Transition Report 2022

South Africa: Geared for a just energy transition

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Dire consequences will ensue should the world allow for global temperatures to increase by more than 1.5 °C above preindustrial levels, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) has warned. Exceeding the 1.5 °C rise in temperatures will result in more heatwaves, droughts and floods the organisation contends, which affect not only human health but also that of fauna and flora. Emissions from existing fossil fuel infrastructure alone will drive the temperature increase above the 1.5 °C mark, the IPPC notes in its ‘Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of climate change’ report. United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres, therefore, continues to urge governments to reassess their energy policies, and has gone as far as saying that “investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness”.  To mitigate the impact of global warming the IPPC has advocated for a major transition in the energy sector. This will involve measures to significantly reduce fossil fuel use, widespread electrification, improved energy efficiency, and using alternative fuels such as hydrogen. With South Africa highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, it is likely to be negatively impacted on by droughts and variability in its rainfall patterns, along with the catastrophic fallout thereof. However, South Africa is in a prime position to take advantage of its plentiful wind and solar resources, which provide it with an opportunity to decarbonise its electricity sector, as well as other sectors of the economy, while also benefiting from lower costs as those investments gather pace. South Africa also recognises the potential benefits of investing in green hydrogen, as it is one of only a few countries that can decarbonise its economy and export green hydrogen or its derivates, including green ammonia and methanol. In this context Creamer Media’s ‘2022 Energy Transition Report’ examines South Africa’s electricity sector and provides insights into the status of State-owned power utility Eskom, independent power producers, transmission and distribution, as well as changes to the legislative and regulatory framework. The report also delves into the future of green hydrogen and South Africa’s path to a Just Energy Transition. This report is a summary of information published in Engineering News and Mining Weekly, as well as of information available in the public domain over the past 12 months. The report does not purport to provide analysis of market trends.

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