The renewable energy sector is competing with the automotive sector in terms of investment value inside the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ), it emerged on Sunday.
The trade and industry department (DTI) said in a statement Ayanda Ramncwana of the ELIDZ told a media tour organised by the DTI there had been remarkable growth in renewable energy investments over the past five years.
Ramncwana said that of the ELIDZ’s secured private sector investment worth R4 billion, 54% was in the renewable energy sector. This was an indication of the growing sector diversity in the zone.
“The ELIDZ is progressing well in this sector with two renewable energy investors in solar PV manufacturing as well as inverter manufacturing already secured. The ELIDZ science and technology park’s (STP) focus on supporting growth through the incubation of new technologies also remains critical to the development of this sector,” she said.
The ELIDZ also had a growing pipeline boasting R2.5-billion worth of renewable energy investment in the advanced stages. Once activated these investment had a potential to create 900 jobs.
“The ELIDZ’s strategy in terms of renewable energy sector is two-pronged – the zone is targeting investors both in renewable energy component manufacturing and assembly as well as the production and transfer of green power,” said Ramncwana.
The proposed projects included municipal waste-to-energy, landfill gas, a municipal sewerage works biodigester, and biomass gasification plant.