Msaka
UK’s government funding scheme for southern Africa, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s programme, intends to assist in the South African energy sector’s development.

According to a media statement, the policy goals of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) seek to create real, measurable outcomes through the provision of funds, a sum of which will assist in boosting the South African energy sector.

The UK government has in its 2015 review budget announced a £1.3 billion ($168 billion) Prosperity Fund over the next five years to promote the economic reform and development needed for growth in partner countries.

“Our priorities will include improving the business climate, competitiveness and operation of markets, energy and financial sector reform, and increasing the ability of partner countries to tackle corruption,” the FCO stated.

The Prosperity Fund is said will contribute towards meeting the new Sustainable Development Goals.

SME creation in South African energy sector

In South Africa, the funding will be targeted at supporting eight renewable energy projects that will see the introduction of an innovative small-scale waste-to-energy technology and business model, working with the waste transformers.

The project is meant to open the power generation market to small businesses, enabling them to operate small-scale waste-to-energy units on a commercial basis.

According to the press statement, the project will lead to the creation of ‘green’ jobs, increased power generation from renewable sources and improved waste management.

Meanwhile, through the FCO financial aid, a carbon trust integrating off-grid solutions will also be introduced to support South Africa’s rural electrification programme.

Promotion of rural electrification

The project will support the Department of Energy and public power utility Eskom in determining how off-grid electricity solutions can fit into the country’s electrification programme, with a view to stimulating investment into the sector and accelerating rural electrification and promoting access to energy.

Furthermore, the development of renewable energy projects on mining impacted land and communities by promethium carbon will be promoted.

This will be achieved through rehabilitating former mining land in South Africa by demonstrating a model for community-based renewable energy projects that will also alleviate pressure on South Africa’s electricity grid.