SA mines earmark up to R60-billion for renewable energy projects

South African mining companies may spend as much as R60-billion on renewable power projects that could help plug the country’s electricity supply shortage.

Companies could build 3.9GW of solar, wind and battery energy projects and help supplement supplies from the struggling Eskom, Roger Baxter, CEO of Minerals Council of South Africa, said on Tuesday in an e-mailed statement.

In September, Baxter said the lobby group’s members planned to spend as much as R40-billion to construct 2GW of power-generation capacity.

That was after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in June that the limit for companies to produce their power without a licence would be raised to 100MW from 1MW, clearing the way for miners to start generating their own electricity.

“There is a pressing need for the mining industry to supplement Eskom electricity supply,” Baxter said. “The benefits extend to diversifying supply, reducing exposure to continued high increases in prices, unpredictable supply” and reduce climate-warming emissions, he said.  — (c) 2021 Bloomberg LP

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