Eskom is hoping to unlock around R150-billion in green financing from international development agencies to finance a transition from coal to renewable energy.

The move is part of Eskom’s commitment to significantly reduce its carbon footprint.

South Africa is the 12th largest carbon emitter globally and Eskom is responsible for 40% of the country’s greenhouse gases.

“Speaking at a memorial lecture at the University of Pretoria, Eskom CEO Andre de Ryter says the gradual decommissioning of a number of power stations over the next 10 to 30 years is a central part of the transition.

De Ryter says it has become harder to secure funding for new coal projects.

He says Eskom hopes to secure billions of rands in green projects financing before the COP26 conference in November.

According to the Integrated Resource Plan, Eskom has committed to shutting down its coal-fired power stations by 2050.

Coal-fired power

On Tuesday, Eskom also said it plans to reduce its output of coal-fired power by 8 000 to 12 000 MW through plant closures over the next decade, a cut that amounts to up to 30% of its current capacity.

The mothballed Komati power station, brought back to service in the early 2000s to help deal with chronic electricity shortages in Africa’s most advanced economy, will be completely closed by October next year, Eskom said on Twitter.

Additional reporting by Reuters.