South Africa's Coal-Fired Electricity
Medupi Power Station is a large coal-fired power plant located in Limpopo province, South Africa. It is one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the world.
With an estimated 93% of South Africa’s electricity comes from coal. South Africa's electricity generation is heavily reliant on coal. South Africa is also one of the world's largest producers of coal, with the industry playing a significant role in the country's economy.
South Africa's coal-fired power plants play a major role in the country's electricity generation and economy, but their environmental impact and contribution to climate change are increasingly a subject of concern and debate in South African economic circles.
Coal production in South Africa is largely dominated by a few large mining companies, such as Anglo American, Sasol, and Exxaro Resources. The coal is mined from large open-pit mines, which are primarily located in the Mpumalanga province.
Most of South Africa's coal-fired power plants are quite old, with some dating back to the 1960s and 1970s. This has led to concerns about their efficiency and safety, as well as their contribution to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
The state-owned utility Eskom operates most of the coal-fired power plants in South Africa. Eskom is one of the largest power utilities in the world and is responsible for generating and distributing the majority of South Africa's electricity.
These 10 major power plants are operated by Eskom, the state-owned utility responsible for generating and distributing the majority of South Africa's electricity.
- Medupi Power Station
- Kusile Power Station
- Kendal Power Station
- Lethabo Power Station
- Majuba Power Station
- Matla Power Station
- Tutuka Power Station
- Grootvlei Power Station
- Duvha Power Station
- Camden Power Station
South Africa's coal-fired power plants have a combined capacity of around 42,000 megawatts (MW) and generate over 90% of the country's electricity.
Burning coal releases a range of harmful pollutants into the air, including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter. These pollutants can cause respiratory problems, heart disease, and other health issues.
Coal is one of the most carbon-intensive fossil fuels, and burning it releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This contributes to global climate change and its associated impacts, such as rising sea levels, increased frequency of extreme weather events, and damage to ecosystems.
Coal-fired power plants are a major source of air pollution, with emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter contributing to respiratory problems and other health issues. They are also a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
South Africa has set a target of adding 17.8 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030, in order to reduce its reliance on coal and transition towards cleaner energy sources.
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