One of South Africa’s biggest companies is making plans to move away from Eskom’s grid and load shedding

South African Breweries (SAB) plans to make its popular Castle Lite beer using renewable energy, pointing to the most recent round of load shedding and ongoing power constraints in the country.

SAB said that all seven of its breweries in South Africa use solar power, with Alrode brewery in Johannesburg also using biogas facilities.

Between January and August 2021, the breweries have already generated over 9.7 Gwh (Gigawatt hours) of renewable electricity. The group said that this decision to integrate renewable power has also resulted in 9,443 tons of Co2 emissions reductions since the start of the year.

SAB said it now plans to make Castle Lite using only renewable electricity and entirely switch to renewable sources by 2025. The group said it would use all options available to reduce its load on the national grid further.

“We know how important sustainability and our environmental future is for South Africa, but sometimes, it feels like such a big task that we can’t do anything to make a difference,” said Castle Lite brand director Colleen Duvenage.

Solar

In 2020, SAB and AB InBev Africa announced that their breweries across South Africa had introduced on-site solar facilities as part of a new multi-billion rand energy project.

The ultimate goal of the project, the group said, is to purchase 100% of the business’s electricity requirements at manufacturing sites across Africa by 2025.

AB InBev’s global renewable energy commitment is to have 50% of the company’s purchased electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2020, and 100% by 2025.

Eskom announced that stage 2 load shedding will continue until 05h00 on Saturday (30 October), with the power utility warning this week that the country could see as many as 90 days of load shedding in the coming months.

Despite these ongoing power constraints, president Cyril Ramaphosa says the country is committed to achieving several climate goals, including the increased production of electric vehicles, Bloomberg reported.

The state will also focus on reducing carbon emissions at Eskom and fast-tracking plans for a green-hydrogen economy Ramaphosa said Tuesday in a speech at a ceremony to mark the start of production of hybrid cars at a Toyota factory.

The government has published a draft paper on a roadmap for increased production of fully electric vehicles, which will be presented to potential investors, he said.

“We have called on international leaders to support South Africa’s efforts to green our economy and address our ambitious climate change goals through equally ambitious grants and funding support,” Ramaphosa said.

With further reporting by Bloomberg. 


Read: Eskom announces stage 2 load shedding until Saturday – here is the schedule

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One of South Africa’s biggest companies is making plans to move away from Eskom’s grid and load shedding