Reducing Eskom's carbon footprint

Climate change strategy

Eskom aims to foster a company culture that considers sustainable development in all activities.

The company’s adaptation to climate change strategy is based on six pillars:

Diversification of the generation mix to lower carbon-emitting technologies
Energy-efficiency measures to reduce demand, greenhouse gases and other emissions
Adaptation to the negative impacts of climate change
Innovation through research, demonstration and development
Investment through carbon market mechanisms
Progress through advocacy, partnerships and collaboration

The proposed 100MW concentrated solar
thermal power project near Upington will save
about 450 000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions
when it is commissioned
Eskom’s adaptation strategy is in the process of being implemented throughout the business. The strategy, which details how Eskom will respond to and prepare for the impacts of climate change, is industry leading. Eskom has been invited to international meetings to present this strategy and has participated in discussions to prepare business views on the issue.

Eskom’s executive management committee approved a socio-economic development policy and strategy which supports Eskom’s drive for sustainable socio-economic growth through the provision of electricity.

Eskom continued working with the government on developing carbon budgets, adaptation and mitigation plans for climate change, protocols for measuring and evaluating carbon emissions, and procedures for reporting on greenhouse gases. It actively supported the government delegation to the COP 19 conference and is developing a strategy for COP 21.

Eskom also continued its work with the following environmental business movements:

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development, which develops medium-term business solutions to ensure a sustainable planet by 2050
The Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership, through which Eskom hosted two workshops on financing electrification with the Southern African Power Pool

Investing in renewable energy

Eskom remains committed to reducing its carbon footprint and helping the country transition to a cleaner energy mix by pursuing low-carbon sources of generation capacity. It also aims to facilitate the development of renewable energy production into a robust subsector of the emerging power industry through its support for the government’s RE-IPP programme.

South Africa is rich in natural resources, including wind, sun and ocean energies, that could, if efficiently harnessed, help meet the country’s electricity needs while reducing its absolute and relative carbon emissions.

Eskom’s two key renewable energy projects, namely the Sere wind farm and the concentrated solar thermal power station near Upington, are progressing.

Construction of Sere is well underway – the first wind turbine was erected on 2 December 2013. By the end of the year, 10 of the 46 planned turbines had been installed, and foundations for a further 22 turbines had been laid. The 100MW wind farm will be fully commissioned in the 2014/15 financial year, saving approximately 230 000 tons of carbon emissions per year
The concentrated solar thermal power station has received exemption from PPPFA conditions and co-financing loans have been signed. Six suppliers have applied to prequalify for the project, due to be commissioned in 2017. The Upington plant will save an estimated 450 000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions when it is commissioned

Photovoltaic solar-panel arrays are being installed at Eskom office buildings and power stations to offset internal electricity usage. The photovoltaic project (project Illanga) is expected to add 150MW by 2017/18.

Seven of the 46 turbines that will be erected at the Sere wind farm to generate around 100MW of wind power
Seven of the 46 turbines that will be erected at the Sere wind farm to generate around 100MW of wind power

Renewable energy from independent power producers

Eskom facilitates investment into renewable energy generation by purchasing power from IPPs that use wind, solar power, biomass, landfill gas and small hydro technologies to generate electricity, in accordance with the Department of Energy’s renewable energy IPP (RE-IPP) procurement programme. Eskom is responsible for ensuring that these IPPs are connected to the national grid and that it purchases a target amount of electricity from them. Please see pages 143 to 145 for more detail.