South Africa has an abundance of renewable energy resources. This, combined with the recent drop in technology costs and the need for new power generation as coal power plants reach retirement, provides an opportunity for the country to decarbonise its electricity sector. Managing this process will allow for a just transition in coal-dependent sectors and regions, thus opening new opportunities for current coal sector employees and other job seekers. This study analyses the employment impacts of different plans for expanding electricity generation in South Africa’s power sector.
Future skills and job creation through renewable energy in South Africa. Assessing the co-benefits of decarbonising the power sector
Air pollution, primarily from coal-fired power plants, is one of the main impacts that the energy sector has on the environment and human health. These pollutants have many negative impacts, of which those of greatest concern include heart disease, lung cancer, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (WHO, 2016). The consequences of such diseases include increased levels of morbidity, which further result in elevated health costs and losses of productivity. This study quantifies the impacts of South Africa’s power sector on human health, and how a shift to a less carbon-intensive power sector can help to reduce negative impacts and contribute to reducing costs in South Africa’s health system.
Improving health and reducing costs through renewable energy in South Africa. Assessing the co-benefits of decarbonising the power sector
Rooftop solar PV systems have the capability to revolutionise the energy system in South Africa. The metropolitan municipalities alone have an economic rooftop installation potential of more than 11 GW for the residential sector, after taking rooftop restrictions into account. This study quantifies the expenditure savings that may be achieved by residential and commercial consumers in South Africa when installing rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems with the aim of consuming most of the resulting electricity directly.
Consumer savings through solar PV self-consumption in South Africa. Assessing the co-benefits of decarbonising the power sector
Current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) to the Paris Agreement, when added up, are a long way off from getting even close to meeting the agreed target of holding global temperatures well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The Paris Agreement has created a unique platform to build political commitment but it falls short on mobilizing social and economic opportunities (co-benefits) of ambitious and timely climate action. The COP24 decisions related to the Paris Rulebook will determine to what extent social and economic co-benefits can be mobilized to effectively implement the Paris Agreement and to facilitate a just transition.
This briefing contains key recommendations to activate the co-benefits in the COP24 decisions on the Paris rulebook.
Authors: Sebastian Helgenberger, Konrad Gürtler (IASS Potsdam)
Final results of co-benefits assessments for South Africa. Reports will be available here soon. Read More…
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