British multinational mining company, Anglo American, has signed an agreement with French-conglomerate, EDF Renewables, to co-develop a regional renewable energy ecosystem (RREE) in South Africa, which will enable the mining firm to power its operations with 100% clean energy by 2030 in line with the company’s global greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategy.
Anglo American has set a target to achieve carbon-neutrality across its global operations by 2040, and the RREE, which will comprise off-site and on-site wind and solar energy farms, will enable the mining giant to decarbonize the South African grid – the firm’s single largest source of scope 2 emissions – and move towards the goal.
Anglo American and EDF Renewables will work together to develop between 3 to 5 GW of renewable and energy storage capacity by 2030. Anglo American says it will fund the rollout of the RREE using a combination equity financing which the company will source from its partners and debt financing that is mainly used to deploy renewables energy projects.
The two companies will work together to support regional governments across southern Africa to implement decarbonization strategies. For instance, the clean energy projects to be deployed will be integrated with local South African grid networks for energy decarbonization, affordability and reliability as well as to support economic growth.
Mark Cutifani, Chief Executive of Anglo American, said, “Our partnership with EDF Renewables to address our Scope 2 footprint in South Africa complements our FutureSmart Mining program’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.”
In addition to helping South Africa to achieve its Just Energy Transition targets, Bruno Bensasson, the CEO of EDF Renewables, added that the project “…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.”
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Anglo American has already secured 100% renewable electricity supply for its South American operations, resulting in renewables accounting for 56% of the electricity which the mining firm sources from the grid by 2023.