Re­new­able en­ergy ex­pand­ing

The Witness - - YOURMONEY -

SOUTH Africa’s re­new­able en­ergy pro­gramme brought an in­vest­ment of R193 bil­lion into the coun­try be­tween 2011 and 2015, ac­cord­ing to En­ergy Min­is­ter Jeff Radebe.

This was from 92 wind and so­lar projects, se­lected by the Depart­ment of En­ergy from pri­vate sec­tor bid­ders, which amounted to a to­tal of

6 328 MW of elec­tric­ity.

Radebe, who was sched­uled to ad­dress the Wind­aba wind en­ergy con­fer­ence in Cape Town yes­ter­day, was un­able to at­tend. The Depart­ment of En­ergy’s direc­tor-gen­eral, Tha­bane Zulu, de­liv­ered his speech.

Re­fer­ring to Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa’s in­vest­ment tar­get of $100 bil­lion, Radebe said he be­lieved the en­ergy sec­tor could de­liver $25 bil­lion of the $100 bil­lion.

The re­new­able en­ergy sec­tor would also help re­duce South Africa’s high green­house gas emis­sions, as was re­quired by the coun­try’s com­mit­ment to the Paris Agree­ment.

The agree­ment en­vis­ages com­plete de­car­bon­i­sa­tion af­ter 2050.

Radebe said this goal of zero green­house gas emis­sions en­tailed a far-reach­ing com­mit­ment across eco­nomic sec­tors.

This im­plied a switch to the high­est pos­si­ble pen­e­tra­tion of re­new­able en­ergy and other cleaner tech­nolo­gies as soon as pos­si­ble.

The en­ergy sec­tor was uniquely po­si­tioned to drive South Africa’s tran­si­tion to a low-car­bon econ­omy, he said.

“En­ergy is in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked to cli­mate change. South Africa as a de­vel­op­ing coun­try has rel­a­tively high green­house gas emis­sion when mea­sured per capita.”

Radebe said it was there­fore “crit­i­cal” that there was di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of the coun­try’s en­ergy port­fo­lio.

The price of wind power was ex­tremely at­trac­tive and made it very com­pet­i­tive.

“While there is an up­ward pres­sure on the elec­tric­ity tar­iff, we have to en­sure that we in­tro­duce gen­er­a­tion op­tions that will ef­fec­tively lower the cost of elec­tric­ity,” Radebe said. — Fin24.

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