SAPVIA, SAWEA partner to assist local renewables project developers

21st September 2020 By: Donna Slater - Creamer Media Staff Writer and Photographer

Renewable energy lobby organisations the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) and the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) have joined forces with the Independent Power Producers Office, REEFSA and the Black Energy Professionals Association to launch the Developing Developers Programme.

The programme, which consists of a seven-part series of workshops, aims to drive change, enhance the local skills base and ensure South Africa reaps the full benefits of a decarbonised economy.

It is designed to address key areas that aspiring developers need to understand if they want to succeed.

The Developing Developers Programme is designed to address the gaps in the local industry and ensure effective knowledge sharing across the value chain of South Africa’s nascent renewables sector.

SAWEA and SAPVIA want to ensure that local developers, current or potential, can access the knowledge and expertise needed to take projects from development through due diligence, financial close and up to commissioning.

SAPVIA COO Niveshen Govender explains that, historically, South Africa has relied on much-needed foreign investment and knowledge for renewable energy project development.

“But the time has come for South Africans to step up and step into the role of developer. We have so much to gain by empowering local communities and upskilling individuals across the renewable energy value chain.”

SAWEA CEO Ntombifuthi Ntuli says the industry has set ambitious targets for the growth of renewables, with wind and solar photovoltaic set to take precedence in the low-carbon and renewable economy.

“The potential for South Africa is unprecedented, not least the potential financial rewards that could be reaped on both an individual and collective level.”

Govender adds that the Developing Developers Programme will be the first of SAPVIA’s initiatives to drive effective change and build local competence to a global standard so the industry can develop “world-leading projects” that will deliver the energy security and supply that is desperately needed.

SAWEA represents the interests of over 100 members who are invested in the South African wind power value chain and SAPVIA is the representative voice for more than 370 companies in the solar photovoltaic industry in South Africa.