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Oct 08, 2009

Energy Minister to unveil SWH framework next month

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Energy Minister Dipuo Peters would present South Africa’s National Solar Water Heating (SWH) strategic framework to all interested stakeholders on November 5, in Johannesburg.

The broad areas of the framework included: a national vision for SWH in South Africa; objectives to be achieved; and achievable short, medium and long term national targets.

Additional areas under the framework included: benefits flowing from a national programme; key principles for the achievement of national targets; residential market analysis and framework; policy and regulatory support; proposed delivery and institutional arrangements; financing models; training; quality assurance; stakeholders and key receivers.

The framework was the result of an SWH workshop held in February by the Department of Energy in conjunction with the Development Bank of Southern Africa’s Renewable energy market transformation (REMT) unit, which is funded by the World Bank.

The workshop in February aimed at consolidating information on the various SWH initiatives in the country into a national SWH and implementation plan. Inputs from numerous stakeholders contributed to a common consensus on key areas of intervention for implementing a mass SWH roll-out including clear policy commitment, financing, quality assurance and supply capacity.

Solar energy company Inti Solar director Marlene Snowdon welcomed the release of the national framework, adding that it was what was needed to get all SWH role-players talking to each other.

Department of Trade and Industry Industrial Development division DDG Nimrod Zalk recently stated that the department saw ‘green’ industries as holding major opportunities, but added that there seemed to exist a “high level of fragmentation” in the industry and added that a "coherent road map" for the commercialisation of these technologies in South Africa was needed.

It was hoped that the national SWH framework would go some way towards consolidating this sector of the renewable energy industry.

The government’s framework would be launched at the Indaba Hotel in Fourways, Johannesburg.

Edited by: Mariaan Webb
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