South Africa has climate mitigation and adaptation plans that the South African Cabinet has approved, including the Just EnergyTransition (JET) strategy. In 2021, South Africa updated its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), a Paris Agreement-mandated five-year climate change action plan to increase emission reduction and reach net zero by 2050. Alongside that Paris Agreement, the President of South Africa launched the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) program at a UN climate. The JETP program is a de-carbonization program that will help South Africa to move from coal power to renewable energy. The Komati power station was decommissioned in 2022 and was the first retired coal power station to be transformed into solar production, though at a lower output. Mini-grid solar production and a training facility have been set up to train Eskom employees and the community. The project aims to install 150 megawatts (MW) of solar power, 70 MW of wind, and 150 MW of battery storage. With this program, the South African government aims to improve energy performance and localize energy production. A temporary microgrid assembly factory has already been established on the Komati site.
The Komati Repowering and Repurposing project is one of the significant coal-fired power stations decommissioned, repowered, and repurposed projects globally. This project refers to how Just Energy Transition projects should be done. To facilitate the transition to using lower-carbon technologies while ensuring workers and communities most affected by the transition aren’t left behind, a training centre will be established. Establishing the Komati Training Facility Centre will help employees and community members reskill, retrain, and upskill whenever appropriate. The Department of Energy, together with Elektrisiteitsvoorsieningskommissie (ESKOM), has already signed a partnership agreement with the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC) of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) to develop a training center at Komati power station.
Learn More References
- Decarbonisation in the Balance: Assessing South Africa’s Energy Transition and the implementation of the Integrated Resource Plan. Part of a series on energy transition policies supported by the Climate Emergency Collaboration Group. Energy Systems Research Group University of Cape Town, 2023
- Just Energy Transition Implementation Plan 2023–2027
Blueprint for the just energy transition: Solar panel banks are erecting around Komati’s old chimney stacks. Photo: Thabo Molelekwa
This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard South Africa Country Manager Rugare Zhou.