11 November 2009 – At a “safe energy for 2010” themed conference, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters invited players in the energy industry on Monday to invest in Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG).
"Opportunity exists to make a significant impact as South Africa, Africa, and the world diversify their energy mix," she told an annual LP Gas safety association conference in Johannesburg.
"LP gas, I am told, is more efficient than most energy carriers when it is used for space heating and cooking, hence our assertion that it is well positioned to be the energy carrier of choice for most of our households," said Peters.
A paper on energy poverty by the World Bank to the G8 energy ministers earlier this year revealed that of the 1.6 billion people who have no access to electricity, most were concentrated in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
"Very little is currently being done in Africa, especially in sub-Saharan Africa to address this. Africa has the lowest electrification rate, with as many as 547 million without access to clean energy," she said.
She said that having analysed the rate at which investments in electricity generation were dispensed on the continent, forecasts showed that less than half of African countries would attain universal access to electricity by 2050.
"This provides ample opportunities for you as investors in the LP Gas industry," she said.
An added advantage of LP Gas was that it was clean, portable and easily accessible. It could be easily distributed to the most remote areas of the country, said Peters.
"The logistical infrastructure required to market the product is not as costly and as cumbersome as putting power stations and transmission lines, " the minister said, adding that her department had indicated that LP Gas would be regulated soon.
She said public consultation on the matter had been done. "We have considered all the concerns the industry has raised. These regulations will be promulgated within the next few weeks.
"This move should therefore bring much needed certainty to you as investors in this sector," said Peters.