Ryan Hammond,
MD, Solaire Direct
13 August 2010 – Finance would not hold back the development of a renewable energy industry in SA but a conducive regulatory environment would, Solaire Direct Southern Africa MD Ryan Hammond said yesterday.

Mr Hammond’s comments reinforce the view that financiers are ready to invest in viable renewable energy projects provided the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) finalises a generic renewable energy feed-in tariff (Refit) power purchase agreement. That particular agreement will guide the relationship between an independent power producer and the buyer of electricity.

Nersa spokesman Charles Hlebela yesterday said the regulator was finalising the Refit power purchase agreement in consultation with other government departments and it would be published soon.

Mr Hammond said a number of leading banks and potential equity investors had expressed willingness to finance his company’s projects, but he declined to name them.

Solaire, the largest privately owned solar power company in France, has a photovoltaic module manufacturing plant in Cape Town. A 10MW solar plant in SA would cost about R300m, Mr Hammond said.