South Africa is still largely addicted to coal-based electricity. Its indigenous energy resource base is dominated by coal which accounts for 91% of electricity production and 25-30% of liquid fuels consumption through the conversion of coal-to-liquids by Sasol. Without a doubt, South Africa will still be using coal for a very long time, which means that if we are to meet our climate change obligations, we need to find a an effective way to manage CO2 emissions.
Releasing around 470 million tonnes of CO2 a year, South Africa is the continent's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases.
Some recent developments shows some promise in reducing the countries monstrous carbon emissions among other endeavors. South Africa has started geological mapping at the country's first carbon capture and storage (CCS) site, where it plans to inject vast quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) deep underground from 2023, according to the Council for Geoscience.
The project will be based around the town of Leandra, Mpumalanga province, in South Africa's north east, a carbon emissions hotspot and home to several coal-fired power stations as well as Sasol's Secunda coal-to-liquids fuel plant, the world's largest. The project will link a pipeline transporting compressed CO2 from major emitting sources such as Secunda directly to the identified injection site that is overlain with an "impermeable rock cap". The goal is to test the feasibility of injecting between 10 000 to 50 000 metric tons of CO2 (a year) to a depth of at least 1 km, with the first injection seen late in 2023.
South Africa has approximately 150 gigatonnes of potential storage capacity, mainly in offshore basins on the east and west coast, researchers said. An atlas of potential underground storage sites for carbon dioxide emissions will be compiled for South Africa as part of a plan
to be using carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. The atlas is being compiled by the Council for Geoscience and the Petroleum Agency of South Africa with funding from the South African National Energy Research Institute (SANERI) and a range of energy companies.