'Govt must cut red tape so mines can go ahead with renewable energy projects'
South Africa's mining industry is planning R60 billion worth of renewable energy projects that will generate 3,900 megawatts (MW).
But government red tape is delaying the building of these plants.
Mineral Council South Africa says its members' projects would relieve pressure on beleaguered Eskom and go a long way towards meeting the industry’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
These projects must be expedited through a smart tape system. Environmental authorisations take too long and should be materially shortened. In addition, policy issues related to wheeling charges and surplus offtake to other users are required.Roger Baxter, CEO - Minerals Council South Africa
Eskom will remain an important large baseload supplier of electricity to mining for many decades into the future, says the Minerals Council.
"The sector’s 3,900 MW is purely supplemental and will not detract from critical baseload 24/7 capacity from Eskom."
Bruce Whitfield interviews Henk Langenhoven, Chief Economist at Minerals Council South Africa.
Langenhoven says in view of Eskom's lack of reliability and increasing prices, the mining industry has no choice but to invest in building up their own power reserves.
At the same time, government places hurdles in their path.
You have to go through so many steps at different levels of government and different institutions of government. And they all take their time and they all have different acts they have to apply... It just takes a lot of time.Henk Langenhoven, Chief Economist - Minerals Council South Africa
The allowable 100 MW was a big issue... probably the biggest structural change in policy that we've seen in the last number of years, but it is not simple to get through.Henk Langenhoven, Chief Economist - Minerals Council South Africa
We know how to build big facilities but we haven't been building electricity plants - the hoops we have to go through are new to us.Henk Langenhoven, Chief Economist - Minerals Council South Africa
From the day that you get the go ahead to actually getting electricity from that [power plant], takes anything between two and three years, so it's not a quick fix.Henk Langenhoven, Chief Economist - Minerals Council South Africa
Listen to this important conversation on The Money Show:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'Govt must cut red tape so mines can go ahead with renewable energy projects'
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