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Green energy to cost South Africa $250 billion in the next three decades

South Africa will have to spend $250 billion over the next three decades to move from a coal-fired power plant economy to a fully green energy economy, according to a report released on the side-lines of the World Economic Forum on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

Around $125 billion is needed to ramp up wind and solar power projects as the country suspends coal-fired plants that currently supply the bulk of its energy needs, the document revealed as reported by Reuters.

The report was produced by academics at South Africa Stellenbosch University in conjunction with the Blended Finance Taskforce, a body set up in 2017 to help mobilize large-scale private capital in a bid to end poverty in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The Blended Finance Taskforce and the centre for Sustainability Transitions at Stellenbosch University said, “in addition to closing down the country’s coal-fired plants and building wind and solar power plants, households that have been affected by the change would have to be compensated.

South Africa is the world’s 12th biggest emitter of climate-warming gases and the biggest in Africa. In November 2021, during the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (GOP26) in Glasgow, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and the European Union agreed to offer an $8.5 billion package to help South Africa accelerate its transition from coal to green energy

“It will take at least $250 billion spent over the next three decades to transition to a low-carbon, more equitable energy system in South Africa under an ambitious decarbonization scenario (coal off by 2040),” the author said.

The report also states that most of the money will need to come from the private sector.

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