Energy Blue Print
Scenarios for a future energy supply

Moving from principles to action for energy supply that mitigates against climate change requires a long-term perspective. Energy infrastructure takes time to build up; new energy technologies take time to develop. Policy shifts often also need many years to take effect. In most world regions the transformation from fossil to renewable energies will require additional investment and higher supply costs over about twenty years

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Greenpeace energy blueprint gives South-Africa hope

A sustainable future and green development in the making

Johannesburg, 25 May 2011 - South Africa can create about 150 000 new direct jobs in the energy sector in less than 20 years, and at the same time save the environment from irredeemable harm. These are just some of the findings of one of the most comprehensive plans ever to resolve the country’s need for energy security and a sustainable energy future, launched today by Greenpeace Africa.

'The Advanced Energy [R]evolution: A sustainable Energy Outlook for South Africa ' is a detailed practical blueprint for cutting carbon emissions - replacing fossil and nuclear fuels with renewable energy (such as sun, wind and water) and energy efficiency.

A true Energy [R]evolution is needed to safeguard the world from catastrophic climate change. The new Greenpeace report models an advanced scenario reducing CO2 emissions by 85% from the 1990 base level by 20501, and compares this to the Policy Adjusted Integrated Resource Plan2.

The report is based on Greenpeace's global Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario, and was developed in conjunction with specialists from the Institute of Technical Thermodynamics at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), the Dutch Institute Ecofys, the Institute for Sustainable Futures (Sydney) and the European Renewable Energy Council.

An Energy [R]evolution driven by the creation of a sustainable, clean future and green jobs must be the result of political action taken today. The just transition away from fossil fuels opens up exciting new opportunities in skills development, manufacturing and infrastructure development. The plan offers South Africa independence from the effects of the volatile global markets, cuts national debt, creates jobs, safeguards scarce natural resources like water and protects the environment for coming generations.

"Our Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario shows how to eliminate dirty energy, and thereby avoid the massive cost burden of building Kusile coal-fired power station and 6 new nuclear reactors - because there is simply no need to build them," said Sven Teske1, Greenpeace International's senior energy expert and co-author of the report. "Investing in people, rather than dirty and dangerous energy will not only boost South Africa's economic development, but also stem catastrophic climate change".

The electricity sector will be in the vanguard of the renewable energy revolution, despite the fact that more than 90% of the country’s electricity currently comes from coal.

According to Melita Steele, climate campaigner for Greenpeace Africa: “Almost half of South Africa’s electricity can be sourced from renewable energy sources by 2030, rising to 94% by 2050. This is more than double what the South African government is aiming for in the Policy Adjusted Integrated Resource Plan”.

"This report clearly demonstrates that there is no technological barrier to achieving a pathway to 100% renewable energy. In fact, with the political will and South Africa's abundance of renewable energy resources, the country could easily become the renewable energy leader in Africa.”

“As host of the international climate negotiations COP 17 in Durban at the end of this year, the South African government must make the right choices domestically to create a better and cleaner future for all. The question is whether South Africa’s leaders have the vision and courage to seize the day and shape our future,” she concluded. ENDS

For more information contact:

  • Mbong Akiy, Communications Manager (for interviews with Sven Teske) +27 716881271
  • Melita Steele, Climate Campaigner, Greenpeace +27 72 560 8703,
  • Dr. Rianne Teule, Senior Climate Campaigner, Greenpeace +27 70 512 9304

Notes to the Editors:

  • 1. The Policy Adjusted Integrated Resource Plan was approved by Cabinet and published for promulgation by the Department of Energy in March 2011.
  • 2. The report provides a comprehensive country-specific energy concept which gives a detailed analysis of how to restructure South Africa’s energy system based on a detailed assessment of the potential of proven renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and the utilisation of efficient, decentralised cogeneration.
  • 3. The advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario reduces carbon dioxide emissions from the South African energy sector by 85% below 1990 levels by 2050, necessary to prevent dangerous climate change. A second objective of the Energy [R]evolution is the global phasing out of nuclear energy. To achieve these targets, the scenario is characterised by significant efforts to exploit South Africa’s large potential for energy efficiency.
  • 4. Access the full Advanced Energy [R]evolution report online here