Towards Greening the South African Coal Supply Chain

Ken Mathu

Abstract


South Africa is predominantly a carbon economy. The coal supply chain impacts on the environment commences with mining, processing, transportation and processing by the end users. The country possess the largest coal reserves in the African continent, it is among the leading producers in the world and one of the top twenty leading nations in carbon emissions globally. Coal is the primary source of energy in South Africa producing 88% of the total electricity generation and one-third of liquid fuels production. Hence, the needs for greening the coal supply chain.The South African government newly adopted national development plan for the next twenty years proposes future reduction for coal dependency by boosting development of renewables sources of energy despite their high implementation cost. There are new legislations in support of clean energy development and sustainability initiative as mandated by the United Nations Convention on Climate Change. Greening the coal supply chain require combined efforts from the government and the industry. The focus areas include use of clean technologies in mining, processing, burning coal at power stations and the industries. Improved transportation system in form of intermodal transport with emphasis on the rail use over the road and maintaining or increasing the use of conveyor belts where appropriate would be the future for the coal value chain. However, increased use of renewable energy, use of natural gas and shale gas for the generation of electricity as they produce less carbon emissions would be the ultimate goal for greening the South African coal supply chain.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n27p1632


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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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