Brenda Martin, SAREC chair. Source: SAREC
Brenda Martin, SAREC chair. Source: SAREC

In response to President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address, the South African Renewable Energy Council (SAREC) welcomes his clear support for the country’s renewable sector, specifically the renewable energy procurement programme.

“This globally recognised programme was the initiative of government, and it is fitting that the policy-maker’s vision can continue to be realised.

“Industry appreciates the expressed support that key ministers have lent to the renewable energy programme  during the year-long impasse with Eskom,” SAREC said in a statement.

Renewable sector

SAREC chair, Brenda Martin, commented: “Some of the serious economic effects of the recent pause in South Africa’s renewable power procurement programme, such as factory closures and job losses, have caused serious hardship for this fledgling industry.

“We trust that there will now be rapid movement to resolve the impasse in line with the President’s directive.”

SAREC said in a statement that renewable power producers have through the first highly successful rounds of independent power procurement demonstrated their commitment to invest, to produce power at increasingly lower prices on-budget and on-time, and to build stronger communities where they are located.

The council added that the Industry’s commitment to addressing poverty, inequality and unemployment and the creation of opportunities for youth, is unequivocal.

Driving economic growth

This President’s leadership can ensure that now much-needed direct and indirect investment and job creation is unlocked.

More than R57 billion ($4.2 billion) investment will flow in the short-term and jobs will be created once outstanding power purchase agreements are signed.

In addition, up to 15,000 jobs associated with the power procured in 2015, are currently not being realised.

Through 6 bid windows the renewable energy programme secured the following successes:

  • 102 projects have been procured;
  • investments of R194.1 billion ($14 billion) (of which R53.4 billion ($3.9 billion) from foreign investors);
  • 64 projects have signed contracts representing 4,006MW capacity of which 3,051MW was online (including early operation) as at 17 January 2017;
  • substantial jobs for South African citizens have been created (of which more than 47% are for youth);
  • socio-economic development initiatives have been initiated in local communities; and
  • a green-industry has started to develop to the point that some manufacturers have become exporters of renewable energy plant components; and technicians are being trained at global standard ensuring that young graduates can service both the domestic and international market.