Today's Labour News

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coalMining Weekly writes that SA should consider including a policy adjustment in its upcoming Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) directing developers of new renewable-energy infrastructure to build projects in regions currently geared towards coal mining and coal-fired electricity production.  

While Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz, who works for German renewable-energy group Enertrag, acknowledges that such an adjustment will represent a deviation from the least-cost IRP, he argues that the socioeconomic benefits are likely to outweigh the additional costs.  The former head of the CSIR’s Energy Centre adds that the higher tariffs associated with locating projects outside of catchment areas deemed optimal from a wind- and solar-resource perspective are also likely to be partly offset by their proximity to existing network infrastructure.  The issue of a just transition has come to the fore already in SA, with several labour unions vigorously opposing the further integration of renewable-energy independent power producers (IPPs) partly on the basis of their threat to coal jobs.  The National Union of Mineworkers recently led a march to Parliament calling for a halt to the signing of new power purchase agreements with IPPs and to “defend Eskom workers against the looming job cuts”.  In addition, the recently negotiated Jobs Summit framework agreement calls for the establishment of a Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission to oversee the ‘just transition’, including by maximising the job opportunities.  “Government should, thus, consider intervening in a way that cushions those most vulnerable to the transition.  No individual coal miner should see the energy transition as a threat,” says Bischof-Niemz.

Read this interesting report in full at Mining Weekly


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