The UK international climate finance programme, UK Climate Investments, has helped finance three renewable energy projects with a combined capacity of 254 MW in South Africa.
The inauguration of the 4 MW run-of-river hydropower facility Kruisvallei Hydro, in the Free State, on March 25 followed the successful delivery of the 110 MW Perdekraal East Wind Farm, in the Western Cape, in October 2020 and the 140 MW Kangnas Wind Farm, in the Northern Cape, in November 2020, UK Climate Investments notes in a statement.
Its R253-million (£13-million) partnership with renewable energy projects developer H1 Holdings has created about 385 jobs during construction and is expected to provide a further 195 jobs over the projects’ 20-year lifecycle.
“In addition to supporting South Africa’s low-carbon transition, these projects developed over the past two years have delivered opportunities for employment, skills development and investment in rural communities across the region,” says UK Climate Investments MD Richard Abel.
Each project has also committed a percentage of its yearly revenue to community initiatives supporting education, housing and sustainable enterprise development in surrounding areas.
The three projects will also help to avoid about 844 000 t/y of greenhouse-gas emissions over their lifetime, which is equivalent to taking 182 000 cars off the road for a year.
“Funding is required to transform South Africa’s energy mix and promote cleaner, greener energy systems. Our partnership with UK Climate Investments has been critical to the delivery of these projects, which will play a role in supporting South Africa to build back better and greener from the Covid-19 pandemic,” says H1 Holdings CEO Reyburn Hendricks.
“The UK is committed to supporting green, resilient and inclusive recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and I am delighted that this innovative UK programme, run through UK Climate Investments and Macquarie, has supported job creation, localisation and black ownership in this sector.
“As holders of the COP26 Presidency, we are pressing for greater ambition globally to meet the Paris Agreement’s goals. This needs us to accelerate the global transition to clean power, benefitting from low-cost and sustainable energy sources such as the Kruisvallei hydro plant,” adds British High Commissioner to South Africa Nigel Casey.
“UK Climate Investments has committed about £70-million over three years to support the development of clean energy and green finance markets in sub-Saharan Africa. UK Climate Investments is a cornerstone investor in Revego African Energy Limited, a first of a kind dedicated renewable energy public yield company in sub-Saharan Africa which intends to list on the JSE. UK Climate Investments is also helping to finance the construction of affordable green housing in Kenya.”
UK Climate Investments is a £200-million pilot investment programme mandated to invest in India and sub-Saharan Africa. It targets transformational green energy investments where UK Climate Investments capital can mobilise additional private sector capital on a sustainable basis to promote cleaner, greener growth in these developing economies.