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Green Energy Plan May Save South Africa $6.6 Billion, Study Says

  • Meridian proposes emission cuts in return for cheap loans
  • Country needs $650 billion to fund transition away from coal
Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

South Africa could save 100 billion rand ($6.6 billion) by accelerating the closing of coal-fired power plants in return for cheap loans to fund a transition to cleaner forms of electricity, a proposal developed by Meridian Economics shows.

Africa’s most industrialized nation needs to cut emissions to meet its Paris Agreement commitments to counter climate change. State power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., which produces more than 90% of the nation’s power, mainly from coal, has little scope to fund green energy projects because it’s buried in debt and the government’s own finances are overstretched.