Pretoria based research centre Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and financial services group Nedbank, have joined RES4Africa Foundation as new members.
Their membership was approved and made official by RES4Africa’s Steering Committee, following a solid working relationship established between RES4Africa, CSIR and Nedbank over the past few months.
Today we widen our member network by welcoming @CSIR and @NedbankCIB, our the member organisations from #SouthAfrica🇿🇦— RES4Africa Foundation (@RES4Africa) January 28, 2021
Their membership was approved and made official following a solid working relationship established in the past few months.
South Africa is the largest electricity market in Africa; despite the successful initiation of a renewable energy transition, today South Africa’s power sector is experiencing some challenges. The country’s economy is dependent on the extraction and export of coal, and its electricity demand has been weak and negatively influenced by frequent supply shortages, rising tariffs and lower economic growth.
Moreover, its generation mix is based on increasingly older plants, which reduces the reliability of supply, while new generation capacity addition has been slow to materialise despite the approval of the 2019 Integrated Resource Plan that sets out a clear policy for the increased deployment of renewable energy sources.
South Africa’s renewable resource wealth offers tremendous opportunities for clean and sustainable power generation, which is expected to play a key role in addressing the supply-demand imbalance and supporting economic growth and prosperity in the region.
“The challenges that South Africa’s power sector is experiencing offer the opportunity to scale up the deployment of renewable energy, which has the potential to ensure a more reliable and sustainable electricity service, at a fairer price,” states Salvatore Bernabei, President of the RES4Africa Foundation. “With its partners in South Africa, RES4Africa is carrying out a dedicated programme focused on the country’s energy transformation. We therefore gladly welcome CSIR and Nedbank as partners, a tangible result of the positive collaborations we’ve established over the past months.”
Ensuring a just energy transition
Through the dedicated programme, RES4Africa aims to offer its support to South Africa’s decarbonisation process, ensuring that the energy transition occurs in a just way, leaving no one behind.
Among its key deliverables, there are the release of the publication A Just Energy Transition in South Africa (developed in collaboration with CSIR and ERM), an online event attended by more than 400 participants and which saw the participation of both CSIR and Nedbank as speakers, and the launching of AM-Powering Connexions, a series of monthly morning appointments addressed to the South African energy community to share ideas and resources and to create connections and engagement opportunities.
Clinton Carter-Brown, head of the energy centre of CSIR, commented: “As the largest science council on the African continent, and with a specific focus on the industrialisation and application of new technologies, CSIR is pleased to join the RES4Africa Foundation. The CSIR’s Energy centre is the leading energy research institute in the region, with the vision ‘To provide the knowledge base for the South African energy transition and beyond’.”
Carter-Brown added: “The CSIR looks forward to continuing to make its contribution in the transition to sustainable energy sources and to improve the access to clean and affordable energy and to achieve the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations. Sub-Saharan Africa presents substantial opportunities for the development and deployment of renewable energy solutions. The integration of the work of the CSIR Energy Centre and RES4Africa Foundation is hoped to have a lasting positive impact on energy access, sustainability and equality.”
Also commenting on the development, Amith Singh, head of energy finance of Nedbank CIB, said: “As a bank committed to using our financial expertise to do good, we take seriously our commitment to helping to shape a better world through the realisation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs), particularly ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and renewable energy for all. To this end, we are honoured to become a member of the renewable energy value chain that seeks to address energy challenges facing the continent, using our collective muscle, and membership of this august network positions the bank to contribute to this vital development.”