South Africa is proposing that the Brics bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa extends the scope of its energy cooperation beyond that of energy savings and energy efficiency to include a range of other issues, arising as a result of the “global energy transition”.
In an address to Brics energy ministers, who are meeting in Johannesburg this week, South Africa’s Energy Minister Jeff Radebe said the rapid change towards more environmentally sustainable energy systems was impacting directly on the plans and policies of Brics member States. Therefore, it was an opportune time for the bloc to consider extending the areas of cooperation in the energy sector.
He urged members to consider the establishment of a “committee of senior officials to coordinate, elevate and advance Brics cooperation and implementation of mutual energy activities”.
Common areas for collaboration were listed as renewable-energy, energy storage, electric vehicles, natural gas, energy efficiency, digitisation, smart- and micro-grids, electrification and strategic energy sourcing and security. Also flagged were the issues of finance for energy infrastructure and industry development.
Radebe highlighted the growing role of renewable energy within the energy systems of Brics countries, adding that significant progress had been made in prioritising renewable energy in the respective national development plans of member States.
“Throughout our chairship this year, South Africa will ensure the programmatic continuity for Brics and will bring a specific focus to the challenges, opportunities and practical solutions in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the global and intra-Brics transition to more environmentally sustainable energy systems.”