In order to collaborate on creating a regional renewable energy ecosystem (or “RREE”) in South Africa, Anglo American and EDF Renewables, a leader in the field of renewable energy, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. By providing 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030, the ecosystem is anticipated to be able to cover Anglo American’s operational electricity needs in South Africa while also promoting the resilience of regional electricity supply networks and a broader decarbonization of energy in the nation.
By 2023, 56 percent of our worldwide grid supply is anticipated to be derived from renewable sources thanks to Anglo American’s recent agreement to supply all of its facilities in South America with 100% renewable electricity. Although there are many renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar, in South Africa, there isn’t much infrastructure to use it. This collaboration with EDF Renewables is intended to reduce Scope 2 emissions from Anglo American’s current grid supply in South Africa as it moves closer to its 2040 goal of operating carbon-neutrally. The RREE strives to support South Africa’s ambitions for a low-carbon future and the nation’s Just Energy Transition by providing financial and technical assistance.
The RREE will utilize South Africa’s abundant renewable energy resources to create a network of on- and off-site wind and solar farms, among other opportunities, providing Anglo American’s companies with renewable electricity around-the-clock. In addition to securing loan finance, which is customary for high-quality energy infrastructure projects, Anglo American hopes that a number of partners will offer equity financing for the RREE.
The relationship is anticipated to help South Africa and the region in a variety of ways, including:
- Implementing 3-5 GW of renewable electricity (solar and wind) and storage over the next decade, thereby increasing total grid supply resilience;
- supporting the decarbonisation initiatives of governments across Southern Africa; and
- stimulating the development of new economic sectors, local production and supply chains.
Anglo American’s CEO, Mark Cutifani, stated: “We are targeting carbon neutrality across our operations by 2040 and we are making good progress. Today’s announcement is a further major step towards addressing our on-site energy requirements – the largest source of our operational emissions. Our partnership with EDF Renewables to address our Scope 2 footprint in South Africa complements our FutureSmart Mining™ programme’s abatement of our Scope 1 emissions through low and zero emission technologies, including our hydrogen haul truck system, and the development of South Africa’s Hydrogen Valley. Step by step, we are changing the very nature of mining and how our stakeholders experience our business – while supporting a Just Transition.”
Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice President Renewable Energies and Chairman & CEO of EDF Renewables, added: “The EDF Group is delighted to take a step forward with Anglo American towards this ambitious partnership. We are committed to supporting industrial players by providing a low carbon competitive electricity that substitutes fossil energies and improves wider social and environmental issues. This project is also contributing to the country energy’s ambition to furthering the development of decarbonised energy. It is in line with EDF Group’s CAP 2030 strategy, which aims to double its net renewable installed energy capacity worldwide (hydropower included) from 28 GW in 2015 to 60 GW in 2030.”
Nolitha Fakude, Chair of Anglo American’s Management Board in South Africa, said: “South Africa is embarking on the next phase of its economic development, with clean, reliable and affordable energy playing a critical role in delivering this potential – helping to catalyse new industrial hubs and stimulate local economic activity. Anglo American is committed to supporting this Just Energy Transition, encouraging growth and development for our host communities and South Africa through such projects as the RREE – very much in tune with our Collaborative Regional Development approach. Aligned to our longstanding commitment to economic transformation and empowerment, we intend to incorporate a local Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) partner into our regional renewable energy ecosystem and are exploring a range of community partnership models that will allow our host communities to share in the ecosystem’s success.”
Tristan de Drouas, CEO at EDF Renewables (South Africa), said: “As a significant low-carbon energy player in South Africa, we are delighted to be partnering with Anglo American to develop a regional renewable energy ecosystem, building on from a first project together in 2021. With our global expertise in energy infrastructure development, design and delivery, our grid optimisation technology, and our experience in the region, we are uniquely suited to partner with Anglo American to transform its environmental footprint, while meaningfully supporting the region’s decarbonisation efforts.”