HomeIndustry SectorsEnergy EfficiencySADC region sees 38.7% growth in renewables capacity

SADC region sees 38.7% growth in renewables capacity

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is realising a considerable increase in the number and quality of its renewable energy and energy efficiency policies, according an updated status report.

Titled ‘2018 SADC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Report’, the report has been prepared by the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE), in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).

It reveals that by mid-2018, the SADC region had 21,760MW of installed renewable energy capacity with another 17,361MW of renewables capacity reaching financial closure and awaiting commissioning.

The 2018 edition builds on the initial report issued by REN21 in 2015 and provides an updated review of renewable energy and energy efficiency developments in the SADC region, including market trends, achievements in renewable energy on- and off-grid, achievements in energy efficiency, evolving policy landscapes and investment flows.

The report also notes that decentralised renewable energy generation and distribution has proven to be a clean and cost-effective way of increasing energy access in remote areas. Read more: Power pool plan to maximise energy trade within SADC

Developing the renewable energy market by utilising the region’s vast potential to expand access to modern, reliable and affordable energy services has become a key regional priority.

Emerging renewable energy industry

The report highlights that the overall share of renewables in the region’s power capacity increased from 23.5% in 2015 to nearly 38.7% in mid-2018.

“The understanding of the SADC region’s emerging renewable energy industry, market development and growth is critical to realising the region’s potential and to scaling up investment opportunities,” said Khaled El Mekwad, UNIDO representative and head of South Africa Regional Office.

“As a regional centre, SACREEE is in a unique position to accelerate the energy and climate transformation in SADC by creating economies of scales, equal progress and spill-over effects between countries,” Mekwad added.