R/€ = 15.15Change: -0.14
R/$ = 14.28Change: -0.14
Au 1071.55 $/ozChange: -0.50
Pt 852.50 $/ozChange: 7.00
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?

And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
Mar 29, 2011

Stable policy implementation needed to encourage renewable energy investment

Africa|Building|CoAL|Efficiency|Flow|Gas|PROJECT|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Resources|Sustainable|System|Technology|Training|Africa|Energy|Flow|Power Generation|Power-generation|Solutions|Wind Energy|Power
Africa|Building|CoAL|Efficiency|Flow|Gas|PROJECT|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Resources|Sustainable|System|Technology|Training|Africa|Energy|Flow|Power Generation|Power-generation|Solutions|Wind Energy|Power
© Reuse this

Base-load renewable energy supply could be viable in South Africa in the next decade or two, depending on a mindset change, decentralised supply and the amount of risk government and the private sector is willing to take, a panel of power and energy experts said on Tuesday.

Global thought leaders attending the Power and Electricity World Africa conference in Johannesburg said renewable energy has in the past for years increasingly competed with coal-fired generation, setting the stage for the development of renewable power generation.

However, the state of planning and implementation was not what it should be and the South African government’s response was too slow, leading to slow uptake from investors.

A Department of Energy (DoE) representative, delivering a speech on behalf of Energy Minister Dipuo Peters, said government aimed to tackle the slow uptake of renewable energy development by intensifying public-private partnerships, as collaboration and capacity building was key to the implementation of renewable energy in South Africa.

“Africa faces serious socioeconomic challenges with high poverty and low power supply. Investment must come into all energy resources available to us and policies must be carefully crafted to attract investment,” the DoE representative noted.

Panel members identified access to finance, supporting policies and frameworks, access to information, as well as training and capacity shortages as key barriers to the development of renewable energy.

Israeli Ministry of Industry and Trade director-general Sharon Kedmi said South Africa needed a stable, firm policy for foreign investment in renewable energy.

Global wind energy council secretary-general Stephen Sawyer agreed, pointing out that power generation was the largest contributor to climate change, necessitating changes to the sector, such as switching from fuel to gas and applying renewables at scale.

“Stable long-term policy implementation and clarity about the future would significantly encourage businesses to jump onto renewable energy development,” he noted.

The implementation of renewable energies could further offer solutions to almost every need and situation in rural and developed Africa, according to the Belgium Alliance for Rural Electrification secretary-general Simon Roland.

Roland and World Future Council Africa liaison office director Ansgar Kiene agreed that sustainable change in society could most easily be brought about through changed policies and political will.

Another challenge identified by Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) South Africa representative Jason Schäffler was that renewable energy posed vast possibilities, but government struggled to implement it.

While government cited high capital costs as one of the most significant challenges to renewable energy development, other panel members believed this was a myth.

Mainstream Renewable Energy South Africa MD and GM Davin Chown said renewable energy implementation could cost less than coal-fired stations.

“The common perception is that renewable energy increases the cost of electricity generation. This is untrue. Wind and free fuel renewables actually reduce the portfolio risk of our national generation assets,” he asserted.

He added that each unit of wind-generated electricity saves R0,11, proving its efficiency. A study done in Ireland showed that wind power generation in 2011 was expected to reduce the country’s wholesale market cost of electricity by about €74-million.

“It is possible to generate affordable renewable energy with the correct regulatory system,” he said.

Roland agreed, adding that the challenge is not the price, but rather the technology.

Chown believed that there should not be any further changes to the renewable energy feed-in tariff (Refit) programme and that its benefits, such as rural development, skills development and industry development, which would all be funded by Refit,should rather be highlighted.

“Refit will even lead to job creation in the long run, resulting from agricultural development and broad-based black economic empowerment. A stable Refit programme without any regulatory uncertainty is of utmost importance,” he stressed.

Wind power, which was said to be the cheapest solution to local energy-generation challenges and also the quickest plant to deploy, would provide 40 000 jobs in South Africa by 2025. Chown pointed out that this could go a long way towards derisking the economy, driving rural and agricultural development and alleviating poverty.

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa published a consultation paper earlier this month, in which it proposes substantial decreases to the Refit rates when compared with those approved and promulgated in 2009. The paper proposes tariffs that are 7,3% lower on some technologies and more than 41% lower on others.

The proposed changes come ahead of the release of a request for proposals for the first 1 025 MW of the Refit project.

Meanwhile, the panel highlighted a number of points that it was hoped would flow from the United Nation's 17th Conference of the Parties, to be held in Durban in December, such as the encouragement of more small-scale electricity generation, the implementation of the second Kyoto protocol, without the US, and leapfrogging fossil fuel development.

Edited by: Mariaan Webb
Creamer Media Senior Researcher and Deputy Editor Online
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Electricity News
Updated 3 hours ago JSE-listed investment holding company Labat Africa has concluded a R560-million subscription and buy-back agreement for the acquisition of a 100% interest in Reinhardt Transport Group (RTG) and its Chrome Carriers subsidiary. The acquisition, which would see...
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, photographed on Wednesday before delivering his Autumn Statement to the House of Commons
Updated 4 hours ago In his Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015 on Wednesday, British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced that the UK government was “doubling our spending on energy research with a major commitment to small modular nuclear reactors”. In a document...
Former NUM general secretary Frans Baleni
Updated 7 hours ago The future looks scary in the mining industry, former National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) general secretary Frans Baleni said on Thursday. “The mining industry is in ICU [Intensive Care Unit], commodity (prices) are low. It will takes three to five years to recover....
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
Latest News
Updated 2 hours 45 minutes ago Business confidence has dropped by a full 15 points over the past year to reach its lowest level in five years, the latest Rand Merchant Bank (RMB)/Bureau for Economic Research (BER) Business Confidence Index (BCI) has shown. After falling from 43 to 38 in the third...
Updated 2 hours 51 minutes ago JSE-listed beverage, food and nonperishable packaging manufacturer Nampak’s basic earnings a share rose 3% to 228.3c for the year ended September 30, from 221.7c the year before. The company also reported an increase in group revenue and trading profit of 13%, to...
Updated 3 hours ago As Parliament mulls the new regulatory framework to govern South Africa’s financial industry, the sector is preparing for its promulgation; however, it will require a complete “rethink” of the way regulators guide financial institutions. The tabling of the Financial...
Recent Research Reports
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
This Week's Magazine
Additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, has the potential to completely change the relationships between individual consumers, professional designers and manufacturers. So argued Loughborough University Reader in Computer Aided Product Design Dr Ian...
Airbus Defence and Space: Military Aircraft has highlighted that its A330 Multirole Tanker Transport (MRTT) has significant commonalities with the Airbus A330-200 commercial airliner, upon which it is based. The South African Air Force (SAAF) once operated a fleet of...
Financial services provider Nedbank launched the second edition of its Carbon Footprinting Guide earlier this month, which is aimed at demystifying carbon footprint approaches and help readers grasp the main concepts of carbon measuring, monitoring, reporting and...
This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of Caterpillar’s first backhoe loader. This also coincides with the worldwide release of its latest-generation F2 series backhoe loader, which was launched at supply chain services company Barloworld Logistics’ Big Dig Day in...
BARRY DWOLATZKY The CPD programme provides advanced skills required locally, and provides a stepping stone to Wits University’s Master of Engineering degree in software engineering
A shortage of software engineers is leading to fewer information technology (IT) projects in private and public sector organisations. This also places a dampener on the economy, as IT is an integral part of business and civil service, says University of Witwatersrand...
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96