The Global Wind Energy Council published its Global Wind Energy Outlook report this week, outlining scenarios which show how wind energy could supply 20% of global electricity by 2030.
Specifically, the report outlined ways in which wind power could reach 2,110 GW by 2030, supplying up to 20% of global electricity while simultaneously creating 2.4 million new jobs, reducing carbon emissions by more than 3.3 billion tonnes per year, and attracting annual investments of €200 billion.
“Now that the Paris Agreement is coming into force, countries need to get serious about what they committed to last December,” said Steve Sawyer, GWEC Secretary General. “Meeting the Paris targets means a completely decarbonised electricity supply well before 2050, and wind power will play the major role in getting us there.
“Wind power is the most competitive option for adding new capacity to the grid in a growing number of markets,” Sawyer continued, “but if the Paris agreement targets are to be reached, that means closing fossil fuel fired power plants and replacing them with wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass. That will be the hard part, and governments will have to get serious about it if they are to live up to the commitments to which they have now bound themselves.”
Looking back, the GWEC report concluded that the annual installation of wind energy in 2015 reached 63 GW, bringing the cumulative total up to around 433 GW. China was unsurprisingly the leading market for wind again, and has been since 2009. The global wind industry is currently set out across more than 80 countries, of which 28 have more than 1 GW installed.
The report presents outlook scenarios through to 2020, 2030, and 2050, based on the International Energy Agency’s New Policies Scenario from the World Energy Outlook as its baseline. The Outlook also provides two other scenarios, with the GWEC’s Advanced Scenario being the “most ambitious” and outlining the “best case” scenario for wind.
“Decarbonising the global energy system includes the transport sector as a major emitter of carbon,” added the report’s lead analyst Dr. Sven Teske, Research Principal for the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney.
“The market for electric mobility, both in regard to electric vehicles as well as public transport, will continue to grow significantly and with this electricity demand for the transport sector. Wind power is in a pole position to supply this future power demand making the wind industry one of the key industries of the energy sector.”
Pretoria — South Africa will for the first time host the South African International Renewable Energy Conference from 4 to 7 October in Cape Town.
The conference will be held under the theme: “Re-energizing Africa”. Addressing the media in Pretoria on Saturday after the Cabinet meeting held this week, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said the conference will profile renewable energy opportunities available in South Africa and Africa to producers of renewable power as their next investment destination.
“South Africa, through its Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme, is becoming one of the biggest markets for renewable energy,” he said. According to Minister Radebe, in future biomass, wind power, solar power and hydropower will contribute 11.4 gigawatts of renewable energy to the grid.
The Department of Science and Technology is supporting the country’s energy policies through research and technology development in low and carbon-free technologies that can be commercialized and rolled out to increase energy security and access to all South Africans.
“We are now capable of manufacturing and integrating various components into a whole range of energy generating devices for these applications that are currently undergoing testing. “The benefit of our hydrogen and fuel cell technologies Programme is the use of platinum which will also open opportunities into the automotive catalytic converter market and promote beneficiation of one of our most abundant minerals. In this regard, we have established and are strengthening our partnership with the private sector to do final tests and commercialize various components and full energy solutions,” he said.
South Africa’s Department of Energy has unveiled plans to expand its procurement of renewable energy by a further 6300MW.
The capacity will form a new round under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, results for the fourth round of which have just been revealed.
In the past it has been implied that wind power will receive approximately half the allocated capacity.
South African Wind Energy Association chief executive Johan van den Berg said: “By this logic, we’re looking at perhaps an additional 2500MW to 3000MW of wind power and a procurement process that extends another three to four years.
“This, once gazetted, should give comfort to international investors to invest in local factories that can push the local content of wind farms to about 54% with the upper 60s in reach.”
Successful wind energy bidders in the fourth round were Biotherm Energy at the 117MW Golden Valley in Eastern Cape, Building Energy at the 140MW Roggeveld in Northern Cape and Enel Green Power at the 140MW Kurusa in Northern Cape and the 139MW Nxuba and 140MW Oyster Bay in Eastern Cape.
Global Wind Energy Council secretary general Steve Sawyer said: “The wind resource is excellent, the country large and the need for energy acute. We see South Africa as a strong growth market for the medium and long-term.”
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The loan will be used to connect solar and wind power plants to Eskom’s power network and help to secure supply in a country that has been beset with almost daily power outages, KfW said.
“The adjustment of the energy supply is a big step for South Africa away from dependency on coal towards a more sustainable electricity generation,” Norbert Kloppenburg, a management board member at KfW, said in a statement.
Although most loans are paid out in euros or dollars, this one was disbursed in rand, making it the biggest single credit ever granted by the German bank in a local currency to any developing or emerging nation.
The financial assistance is meant to help South Africa make a quantum leap towards more sustainable and reliable energy supplies in a nation where power outages are a still a common phenomenon.
The money is to go primarily towards hooking up a number of green power stations to the national energy grid, enabling the country to lower its harmful CO2 emissions by 5.5 million tons annually.
KfW indicated the focus would be on integrating the Kiwano solar thermal power station in Upington and the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme in Braamhoek.
Source: Cape Business News
Norway’s state-owned development fund, Norfund, plans to double or even triple its investments in Sub-Saharan Africa’s power sector by 2020, its managing director said on Wednesday. Norfund is developing hydropower in sub-Saharan Africa in partnership with Norway’s power group Statkraft, and has teamed up with Britain’s development fund CDC to invest in Globeleq Africa, a power company with an ambition to add 5 000 MW of new capacity.
“We expect to double or even to triple the capital invested in Africa by 2020, depending on the projects,” Kjell Roland, managing director of Norfund, told a conference in Oslo, which included energy ministers from Ghana and Zambia. The fund, backed by the government of the oil-rich Nordic country, has invested more than two-billion Norwegian crowns ($248.85-million) in Africa so far, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The fund is seeking to develop power projects in partnership with private investors, like Kenya’s 310 MW Lake Turkana wind power park, which will be the biggest wind park in Africa. “The project is on track to start producing power in 2016, and it should become a showcase for wind power in Africa,” Mugo Kibati, a chairperson of the project company, told Reuters. Lack of access to electricity is holding back economic development in many African countries.
“Power deficit is the biggest single issue for Ghana’s economy,” Ghana’s Minister of Power Kwabena Donkor told the conference. Sub-Saharan countries will need to invest $490-billion in power generation to reach 80% of electrification in 25 years, a study by McKinsey&Company showed. To bring investment into the power sector, African countries need to have cost-reflective electricity tariffs, clear regulations and a political will, said Adam Kendall, McKinsey’s head of power and gas in Africa. Currently only about a third of the population have access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa, and in some countries, like Zambia, only 5% of rural and 26% of the urban population have electricity.
Source: Engineering News
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The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme has started delivering financial benefits to the South African power sector and the economy on the whole, a recent study has shown.
A study by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) states that the 1.6 GW of wind and solar power capacity commissioned by the end of 2014 helped save more than $450 million. With the payments to these renewable energy projects through feed-in tariffs at around $390 million the net ‘profit’ to the economy from these project is over $60 million.
Electricity generated from 0.6 GW wind energy projects and 1 GW solar power projects replaced 1.07 TWh electricity from diesel-fired power plants and 1.12 TWh electricity from coal-fired power plants. Renewable energy projects have thus offset more than 2 million tonnes of CO2e emissions in 2014.
Under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPPP) South Africa plans to source 10 TWh electricity from renewable energy projects based on a wide variety of technologies. Generation of this quantum of electricity would be generated from 3,725 MW capacity. The government plans to auction this capacity through competitive bidding.
1.85 GW of onshore wind energy capacity, and 1.45 GW of solar photovoltaic (PV) power capacity will be auctioned by the end of the programme. Other renewable energy technologies include concentrated solar thermal, biomass, biogas, small hydro, and landfill gas.
The net financial saving of over $60 million is an excellent advertisement for the South African renewable energy sector which may see a further boost once the government introduces the carbon tax policy. Companies that would be required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the carbon tax policy would be able to fulfil their obligations by generating offsets from renewable energy projects which, as shown by the CSIR, would bring in significant financial savings.
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Sub-Sahara African countries continue to pursue development of their electric power sector to combat “energy poverty” and encourage expansion of power-hungry businesses. Much of this energy development centers around renewable energy, such as solar and wind technologies, as well as off-grid strategies for remote regions far from transmission lines.
With such demand for electricity in Africa and international investors eager to fund these power projects, the continent has become the poster child for new renewable energy development technologies and 2015 again sees the return of many long-running African energy conferences, as well as several new ones throughout Africa, the U.S. and UK.
So you can easily mark you calendars, we have broken down by month the 2015 electric power development conferences scheduled thus far.
8th World Future Energy Summit (WFES) (Jan. 19-22, Abu Dhabi, UAE) With 30,000 attendees expected from 170 countries over four days, this conference unites the key players from the renewable energy and clean technology industry sectors. WFES takes place during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), a global platform to address the challenges of economic development, water scarcity, poverty, energy and climate change that affect the adoption of sustainable development and clean energy.
Powering Africa: Summit (Jan. 28-30, Washington, D.C.) Though taking place in Washington, this event is actually sponsored by UK-based EnergyNet to bring together African Ministries, American CEOs and U.S. government investment agencies to discuss the progress of programs such as “Power Africa” and highlight new investor programs currently being developed. Watch AFKInsider for pre-event coverage of this one.
Africa Power Summit 2015 (Jan. 29-30, London) The emphasis at this Summit is the latest “Smart Energy” technologies, including smart metering projects, the future of Africa’s energy sector, renewables and more. The conference also includes an exhibition showcasing the latest smart energy technologies and solutions.
3rd West African Clean Energy & Environment Exhibition & Conference (Feb. 10-12, Accra, Ghana) Organized with the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana, this event draws technology leaders from Egypt, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Kenya, South Africa and the UK displaying their latest in clean energy and environmental technology.
Africa Energy Indaba 2015 (Feb. 17-18, Johannesburg, South Africa) Adopted by the World Energy Council as their African regional event and supported by the South African National Energy Association, the African Union and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, the program of this event is set by an international steering committee of government and industry leaders representing the oil, gas and renewables sectors.
2nd Nuclear Industry Congress Africa 2015 (Feb. 12-13, Cape Town, South Africa) Over 150 nuclear industry professionals will gather for networking and panel sessions covering topics that include: Nuclear Power in Future Africa; Kenya’s Plan of Nuclear Power; Challenges and Opportunities for Private Sector Participation; Regulatory Authority Perspective on Nuclear Power; and Cooperation on the Development of Nuclear Power and Clean Energy in Africa.
Solar/Diesel Africa (March 3-4, Johannesburg, South Africa) This two-day business and technology development event gives participants the opportunity to learn about the best practices and new developments of solar-diesel hybrid power systems in Africa’s remote communities, mining sites and large energy users.
Solar Energy East Africa Conference (March 10-11, Nairobi, Kenya) Supported by the Kenyan Association of Manufacturers, Tanzania Confederation of Industries and Tanzanian Ministry of Mines & Energy, this two-day program will bring together domestic and international solar developers with East African commercial power users to explore grid-tied and off-grid commercially viable opportunities for solar PV projects.
Africa Future Energy Forum (March 18-19, Nairobi, Kenya) With the theme “Unlocking Africa’s Energy Potential,” this forum will bring together major stakeholders to discuss policy, technology and financing aspects of Africa’s energy sector. Issues covered in plenary sessions and panel discussions include: energy security; trends in the renewable sector; and energy policies.
Power & Electricity World Africa 2015 (March 24-25, Johannesburg, South Africa) This event brings together African power producers, large energy users and governments to share ideas on the latest electricity generation innovations throughout the entire energy value chain with speakers, regional project case studies, roundtable discussions and seminars.
Powering East Africa (March 25-27, 2015 Nairobi, Kenya) This conference welcomes ministers from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Zambia as well as regional utilities, financiers, donor organizations and power developers to focus on what is needed to unlock investment in power transmission for regional growth and development.
CSP Today South Africa 2015 (April 21-22, 2015 Cape Town, South Africa) Over 300 of the concentrated solar power (CSP) industry’s top executives will gather in one place to focus on key topics, including project finance, meeting “Local Content” requirements, storage optimization and more.
Solar & Off-Grid Renewables West Africa (April 21-22, Accra, Ghana) The sister conference of Solar Energy East Africa, this event will explore the huge on- and off-grid market opportunities with over 45 international expert speakers, panel discussions, and offer West Africa networking opportunities.
4th Power & Energy Africa 2015 (April 27-29, Nairobi, Kenya) The industry’s largest gathering of decision-makers from all over East and Central Africa, this event brings together regional trade bodies from Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Somalia, Mozambique and Congo.
3rd Southern African Solar Energy Conference (May 11-13, Kruger National Park, South Africa) This conference concentrates on all the technical, scientific and engineering aspects of solar energy research and development, providing a forum for solar scholars to present the latest progress and developments in their fields and initiate collaboration in research.
15th African Utility Week (May 12-14, Cape Town, South Africa) The untapped potential of renewable energy and investment challenges is the agenda at this conference that brings together 5,000 attendees and features 250 exhibitors and 190 speakers during eight conferences to share knowledge and debate the key topics of the future development of Africa’s power and water industries. Utility executives from Nigeria, Uganda, Namibia, Ghana, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa are expected to attend.
7th Middle East & North Africa Solar Conference (May 13-14, Dubai, UAE) MENASOL 2015 promotes solar business in the Middle East and North Africa, covering topics of finance, grid capacity, off-grid opportunities across the region and new solar desalination projects.
2nd UN ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ Forum (May 18-22, UN Headquarters, New York) The second annual Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Forum will continue the momentum from the launch of the UN Decade of SE4ALL (2014-2024) and will include governments and civil society organizations updating their progress towards universal energy access and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
17th Annual Africa Energy Forum (June 8-11, Dubai, UAE) This international forum draws over 1,200 industry stakeholders, including government representatives, utilities, investors, power providers, developers and more. According to organizers, “over $25 billion of investment capital was represented at AEF 2014 in Istanbul and 2015 looks to be bigger.”
POWER-GEN Africa (July 15-17, Cape Town, South Africa) POWER-GEN Africa provides comprehensive coverage of the power needs, resources and issues facing the electricity power industries across sub-Saharan Africa and brings together leading power equipment suppliers and companies developing power infrastructure.
17th annual East African Power Industry Convention (EAPIC) (Aug. 27-29, Narobi, Kenya) EAPIC is the longest running power sector conference and expo for the entire East African region and draws the Kenyan Ministry of Power and Petroleum, as well as large East African utilities from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.
Power & Energy Africa (Aug. 27-29, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania) Spread over 3 days, this event brings together decision makers and technical experts from leading companies involved in Africa’s power generation, transmission and distribution sectors in collaboration with regional trade bodies in Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Somalia, Mozambique and Congo.
South Africa International Renewable Energy Conference 2015 (Oct. 4-7, South Africa) The Government of South Africa together with the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) are hosting this 4-day event aimed at showcasing Africa’s renewable energy opportunities.
12th West African Power Industry Convention (WAPIC) (Nov. 25-26, Lagos, Nigeria) WAPIC showcases the latest technologies and services for the industry while the technical workshops offer practical solutions and case studies. The site visit program will include the Island Power Project and the new urban development city of Eko Atlantic project.
Africa is experiencing a revolution towards cleaner energy through renewables but the story has hardly been told to the world, says Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Steiner, who had been advocating for renewable energy at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Lima, said Africa is on the right path toward a low carbon footprint by tapping into its plentiful renewable resources – hydro, geothermal, solar and wind.
“There is a revolution going on in the continent of Africa and the world is not noticing it. You can go to Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, and Mozambique. I think we will see renewable energy being the answer to Africa’s energy problems in the next fifteen years,” Steiner said in an interview with IPS.
Sharing the example of the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, Steiner told IPS that the decision was taken that “if UNEP is going to be centred with its offices in the African continent on the Equator, there can be no reason why we are not using renewable energy. So we installed photovoltaic panels on our roof which we share with UN Habitat, 1200 people, and we produce 750,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year, that is enough for the entire building to operate.”
He noted that although it will take UNEP between eight and 10 years to pay off the installation, UNEP will have over 13 years of electricity without paying monthly or annual power bills. “It is the best business proposition that a U.N. body has ever made in terms of paying for electricity for a building,” he said.
According to Steiner, the “revolution” is already happening in East Africa, especially in Kenya and Ethiopia which are both targeting renewable energy, especially geothermal energy.
“Kenya plans to triple its electricity generation up to about 6000 megawatts in the next five years. More than 90 percent of the planned power is to come from geothermal, solar and wind power,” he said.
Kenya currently runs a geothermal power development corporation which invites tenders from private investor bids and is establishing a wind power firm likely to be the largest in Africa with a capacity of 350 megawatts of power under a public-private partnership.
In Ethiopia, expansion of the Aluto-Langano geothermal power plant will increase geothermal generation capacity from the current 7 MW to 70 MW. The expansion project is being financed by the Ethiopian government (10 million dollars), a 12 million dollar grant from the Government of Japan, and a 13 million dollar loan from the World Bank.
Renewable energy has costs but also benefits
Phillip Hauser, Vice President of GDF Suez Energy Latin America, told IPS that geothermal power is a good option for countries in Africa with that potential, but it comes with risks.
“It is very site-dependent. There can be geothermal projects that are relatively cost efficient and there are others that are relatively expensive. It is a bit like the oil and gas industry. You have to find the resource and you have to develop the resource. Sometimes you might drill and you don’t find anything – that is lost investment,” Hauser told IPS.
Steiner admitted that like any other investment, renewable energy has some limitations, including the need for upfront initial capital and the cost of technology, but he said that countries with good renewable energy policies would attract the necessary private investments.
“We are moving in a direction where Africa will not have to live in a global fuel market in which one day you have to pay 120 dollars for a barrel of crude oil, then the next day you get it at 80 dollars and before you know it, it is doubled,” he said.
“So if you are in Africa and decide to exploit your wind, solar and geothermal resources, you will get yourself freedom from the global energy markets, and you will connect the majority of your people without waiting for thirty years until the power lines cross every corner of the country,” Steiner added.
A recent assessment by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) of Africa’s renewable energy future found that solar and wind power potential existed in at least 21 countries, and biomass power potential in at least 14 countries.
The agency, which supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, has yet to provide a list of countries with geothermal power potential but almost all the countries around the Great Rift Valley in south-eastern Africa – Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania among others – have already identified geothermal sites, with Kenya being the first to use a geothermal site to add power to its grid.
IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin told IPS that the agency’s studies shows that not only can renewable energy meet the world’s rising demand, but it can do so more cheaply, while contributing to limiting global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius – the widely-cited tipping point in the climate change debate.
He said the good news in Africa is that apart from the resources that exist, there is a growing body of knowledge across African expert institutions that would help the continent to exploit its virgin renewable energy potential.
What is needed now, he explained, is for countries in Africa to develop the economic case for those resources supported by targeted government policies to help developers and financiers get projects off the ground.
The IRENA assessment found that in 2010, African countries imported 18 billion dollars’ worth of oil – more than the entire amount they received in foreign aid – while oil subsidies in Africa cost an estimated 50 billion dollars every year.
New financing models for renewable energy
According to Amin, renewable energy technologies are now the most economical solution for off-grid and mini-grid electrification in remote areas, as well as for grid extension in some cases of centralized grid supply.
He argued that rapid technological progress, combined with falling costs, a better understanding of financial risk and a growing appreciation of wider benefits mean that renewable energy would increasingly be the solution to Africa’s energy problem.
In this context, Africa could take on new financing models that “de-risk” investments in order to lower the cost of capital, which has historically been a major barrier to investment in renewable energy, and one such model would include encouragement for green bonds.
“Green bonds are the recent innovation for renewable energy investments,” said Amin. “Last year we reached about 14 billion dollars, this year there is an estimate of about 40 billion, and next year there is an estimate of about 100 billion dollars in green finance through green bonds. Why doesn’t Africa take advantage of those?” he asked.
During the conference in Lima, activist groups have been urging an end to dependence on fossil fuel- and nuclear-powered energy systems, calling for investment and policies geared toward building clean, sustainable, community-based energy solutions.
“We urgently need to decrease our energy consumption and push for a just transition to community-controlled renewable energy if we are to avoid devastating climate change,” said Susann Scherbarth, a climate justice and energy campaigner with Friends of the Earth Europe.
Godwin Ojo, Executive Director of Friends of the Earth Nigeria, told IPS that “we urgently need a transition to clean energy in developing countries and one of the best incentives is globally funded feed-in tariffs for renewable energy.”
He said policies that support feed-in tariffs and decentralized power sources should be embraced by both the most- and the least-developed nations.
Backed by a new discussion paper on a ‘global renewable energy support programme’ from the What Next Forum, activists called for decentralized energy systems – including small-scale wind, solar, biomass mini-grids communities that are not necessarily connected to a national electricity transmission grid.
Source: Oil Price.com
The East African region is leading the continent’s charge to embrace renewable energy, including solar, geothermal and wind power.
Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda are investing heavily in these forms of clean energy and moving away traditional hydropower sources as demand for power continues to surge and economies grow.
Countries lying on the Great Rift Valley, known for its huge geothermal power potential, are investing heavily in resource prospecting, with Kenya leading in both exploration and development. East Africa is also geographically located in the tropics, which equates to big solar potential.
“Countries in the east African region have realized the benefits of embracing renewable energy and many have drafted and put in place policy documents to guide exploitation of clean energy,” said Pavel Oimeke, director of renewable energy at Kenya’s Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). “Many countries have also developed legislation that could see a major take-off of the sub-sector. And with funds being available, this region should see huge investments in exploitation of natural resources for power production.”
The tiny country of Rwanda is leading in solar energy, with an 8.5-MW solar farm that was commissioned in 2014. The $24 million farm in Agahozo has 2,800 solar panels. Though this may seem small compared to American or European standards, it accounts for 7 percent of the country’s installed power capacity.
Ethiopia leads in wind power with its 120-MW Ashegoda wind farm located in the north of the country, which was built in 2013. Ethiopia is already producing another 51 MW from wind generated from two different sites in the south of the capital Addis Ababa.
In Kenya, private investor Greenmillenia Energy Limited is developing a 40-MW solar plant in the north of the country that is expected to start feeding electricity to the national by grid mid-2015. Greenmillenia has applied for a generation license from the Kenya’s energy regulator ERC.
According to the World Bank, Kenya has nearly 1,000 MW of wind capacity potential, but currently only a meager 6 MW is installed on the outskirts of the capital, Nairobi. However, the country is developing what will become Africa’s largest wind farm, the 300-MW Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, which is expected to be completed in 2019. The $686 million project is financed through a consortium led by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Kenya leads the geothermal power sector with 350 MW of capacity, and according to the ERC, Kenya has more than 10,000 MW of geothermal resource potential. Extensive resource survey work is currently taking place to the west of Nairobi.
East Africa is also investing heavily in microgrid technology in order to provide energy access to the more than 75 percent of the population that currently lives without electricity, according to international development agency Practical Action. A major part of this microgrid solution is in the use of solar energy including off-grid solar photovoltaics (PVC), according to Denise Umubyeyi, finance and business development manager at Practical Action East Africa.
“Investment in micro and mini grids plus use of solar PVC could greatly increase both penetration and access to power for millions of people,” said Umubyeyi, “and this is where governments, private sector and development partners should direct their energies.”
Source: Renewable Energy World
The City of Cape Town’s Council has supported the Western Cape Government’s application to the National Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the designation of the Atlantis industrial area as a Green Technology Special Economic Zone.
This is the latest development in the City and its partner’s quest to unlock economic opportunities in this impoverished area, while at the same time contributing to the financial and environmental sustainability of the metro.
If so declared, this will be the Western Cape’s first Green Technology Special Economic Zone and we foresee that this hub will help to drive much-needed job creation. This also forms part of the City’s overarching efforts to ensure that investors increasingly choose Cape Town and the Western Cape as the top investment destination in South Africa. It is also expected that the interest from local and foreign investors in purchasing land in this green technology hub will grow.
In January 2011, the Western Cape Government’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT,) through the Green Cape Initiative, started developing plans to establish a clean technology manufacturing hub in Atlantis.
This initiative was sparked by indications that the National Government was planning to procure large quantities of renewable energy from independent power producers. According to the Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity, proposed investments of between R10 – 20 billion annually over a 20-year period were foreseen.
Wind potential studies conducted over the past decade suggested that the Western Cape had the potential to generate 3,000 MW of wind power and had good solar irradiation potential. The location of renewable energy power plants in the Western Cape held the potential for localising manufacturing in this sector and for the attraction of catalytic investors to attract suppliers.
The City was, therefore, approached to release currently unoccupied land with industrial zoning in Atlantis for the proposed manufacturing hub. On 8 December 2011, the City’s Council approved a process for the establishment of a green technology manufacturing cluster on vacant City-owned land in the Atlantis industrial area. The sale or lease of two designated sites (or portions thereof) by way of a specialised land disposal management system was also approved. This system includes a rapid application and adjudication process available to qualifying applicants.
The City has already sold 7,8 ha of this 68 ha-site to Red Planet Horizon Trading, owned by Gestamp Wind Steel South Africa, to manufacture wind towers. This purchase is part of the City’s quick access-to-land programme for industries operating in the green economy.
To boost efforts in this area further, Council last year approved the Investment Incentive Scheme to boost job creation in Atlantis. Over 30 companies have taken up the incentives, resulting in more than R8 million in savings for companies from financial incentives. R500m in new industry investment has also been leveraged and this has helped to retain over 2 000 jobs.
There are a number of businesses in the pipeline who are looking to establish themselves in Atlantis. Currently on site is Gestamp Renewable Industries (GRI,) a Spanish company with a 100% shareholding in GRI Wind Steel South Africa, creating employment for 220 workers.
The expansion of a can manufacturing company is also underway. A total of 700 potential jobs will be created should the enquiries and pending business decisions materialise, including the number of jobs that the GRI investment has brought into Atlantis.
As an opportunity city, which is dedicated to redress, Atlantis is one of Cape Town’s priority areas.
The DTI’s feasibility study on Atlantis has shown that it is a feasible area for the establishment of a special economic zone.
The city is calling on its partners in the green technology sector to consider investing in Atlantis in order to make progress possible together. A development facilitation team has been established to fast-track investments and to assist potential investors.
Source: Cape Business News