Cape Town is leading the country’s green energy transition, affirms city Alderman

22nd May 2024 By: Rebecca Campbell - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

Cape Town is leading the country’s green energy transition, affirms city Alderman

City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth Alderman James Vos

Cape Town is really taking the lead in the green energy transition, affirmed the city’s Economic Growth MMC, Alderman James Vos, on Tuesday. He was opening Western Cape trade, tourism and investment promotion agency Wesgro’s Green Hub pavilion at the Enlit Africa 2024 exhibition, in the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

He highlighted that the city had a R4-billion budget, over the next three years, to upgrade and maintain its electricity grid, to enable the green energy transition. One of the priorities of this programme was to ensure grid stability, for, without grid stability, green electricity was going to go nowhere.

That green energy would come from solar PV power plants. He pointed out that the first of these was going to be built to the north of the Cape Town suburb of Atlantis. The tender had been awarded, and construction would start in August. All being well, the project would be completed within 12 months. This solar generation capacity would be complemented by energy storage capacity.

Cape Town has also become the first metropolitan city in the country to buy solar PV energy from small-scale private generators, such as businesses or even households, which have installed these systems to reduce or end their dependence on grid electricity, but who sometimes generate more electricity than they need. Payment is in the form of cash or municipal bill credits. From March 1, 2022, to April 1 this year, businesses and households in the city earned more than R30.8-million in this way, mainly in the form of municipal bill credits.

Vos also referred to the city’s R12-million budget, which would come into effect on July 1, dedicated to infrastructure development, including energy and transport. This was to further facilitate economic and business development in Cape Town.

He also stressed the importance of the Enlit Africa conference and exhibition, saying it showed that “Africa shines with opportunity”. The Green Hub pavilion was intended to bring Cape Town-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the exhibition, so that they could showcase their products and services. “It’s very difficult to start a business today,” he noted. “It’s even more difficult to keep it afloat.” Hence the importance of SMEs being able to exhibit at Enlit Africa.