South African Miners Embrace Renewable Energy Amid Electricity Crisis

Representational image. Credit: Canva

According to renewables company Juwi, South African miners are intensifying their efforts to adopt solar and wind energy generation in order to reduce costs, lower emissions, and address the electricity crisis that has impacted their production and the national economy. These mining operations and processing facilities, which consume up to 30% of the country’s power, have been urged to decrease their electricity consumption, leading to significant implications for mineral output.


As the world’s largest producer of platinum group metals (PGMs), South Africa’s PGM production is anticipated to decline by up to 20% this year due to constrained production from Russia, the second-largest PGM producer, resulting from its involvement in the Ukraine conflict. Juwi South Africa, a subsidiary of the German renewable energy project developer, has witnessed a surge in requests from local mines seeking renewable energy solutions, driven by the energy crisis, rising electricity prices, and the global decarbonization movement.

Juwi is currently developing 400MW of renewable energy projects specifically for South African mines. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s energy sector reforms, including the removal of licensing restrictions, have provided impetus to private power projects. The country’s Minerals Council reports that South African mining companies are collectively developing 6,500 megawatts of renewable power. By 2025, they aim to generate 2,294MW of their own renewable energy, with further capacity expected to come online by 2030.

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Several mining companies, such as Anglo American Plc, Impala Platinum, and Sibanye, have expressed their commitment to pursuing renewable power initiatives. Sibanye recently signed a power purchase agreement for an 89MW wind project, part of its target to achieve 550MW of renewable energy by 2040. The company believes that this project will play a vital role in reducing carbon emissions, as well as delivering cost savings and enhancing energy security.

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