Maputo – The Mozambican government has ruled out the possibility of abandoning coal mining as part of the energy transition favored by the United Nations to meet the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 2030.
The government justifies this position on the grounds that coal remains a major Mozambican export, and thus makes a crucial contribution to the balance of payments and as a source of foreign currency. The government also believes that the energy transition must always take into account the actual conditions in the country.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy, Teodoro Vales, argued this position on Thursday during a seminar on “the challenges and opportunities to promote an inclusive energy transition in Mozambique”, organized by the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD). .
“There’s a lot of talk about getting off coal,” Vales said. “But now coal is the major contributor to the balance of payments, and in second place we have the heavy mineral sands. So we cannot abandon these sources overnight, because the necessary conditions must be in place for us. do this.”
Vales guaranteed that, in the context of the energy transition, mitigation actions are underway, aimed at developing non-polluting energy generation systems. He said that renewable energies stand out among these systems, including hydroelectric plants, but also less polluting fossil fuels, such as natural gas.
The current government, he said, has set the ambitious goal of producing an extra 600 megawatts of power by 2024, of which 400 MW will be generated by gas-fired power plants, and 200 MW by solar, wind and hydropower . power
“For example, in the area of solar energy, we have invested in a solar station of 40 MW in Mocuba, 40 MW in Metoro and 30 MW in Dondo,” he said. “These are just solar stations, but there are also hydroelectric stations.”
For its part, the Chamber of Oil and Gas of Mozambique, represented by Florival Mucave, said that the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies is a global imperative.
The Chamber argues that there should be a broad discussion in Mozambique on the topic of the energy transition, bringing together the government, private companies and civil society, in order to produce a harmonized vision to take to the next summit of the climate, which will be held. in Egypt later this year.