The Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs on Monday welcomed the signing, last week, of 27 contracts by Energy Minister Jeff Radebe with independent power producers (IPPs).
This, the committee averred, indicates South Africa’s commitment to reducing its greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions footprint and its transition to a low-carbon economy, as articulated in the country’s development blueprint, the National Development Plan.
Transitioning to a low-carbon economy presents a significant opportunity in that the commercialisation of low-carbon solutions, including clean energy technologies, can further catalyse an important emerging market and support the transformation of our energy sector, the committee noted.
Committee chairperson Philemon Mapulane said the signing of the contracts with IPPs is also important in terms of the Paris Agreement, which was signed and ratified by the country.
The Paris Agreement represents the first comprehensive climate change agreement in the world and is designed to mitigate GHG emissions.
“What we are seeing here is a deliberate move by our country [away] from intensive consumption of hydrocarbons to clean renewables that do not harm the environment and health, or wellbeing of our people.
“We have certainly set the stage for an increase in renewables investment in our country, which could accelerate the decline of traditional energy and accelerate the adoption of alternative energies,” Mapulane added.