Cape Town, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 18 July 2011 – A broad and representative spectrum of companies active in the renewable energy sector have confirmed their support for NERSA’s Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFIT), reiterating their firm belief that it constitutes the internationally proven best way to build a renewable energy industry as required by the IRP 2010.
In an open letter to energy policy-makers in South Africa released here, the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA), the South African Photovoltaic Association (SAPVIA) and the Southern Africa Solar Thermal and Electricity Association (SASTELA) “’ said:”We confirm our support for a periodic review of the REFIT prices in order to ensure that the returns for investors stay at the determined benchmark given changing market conditions.”
The open letter added that the renewable energy industry confirmed its confidence in the National Energy Regulator as the custodian of the energy sector in South Africa.
“The renewable energy industry accepts and acknowledges the Department of Energy, as led by the Minister of Energy, as the policy leader and primary facilitator of execution plans on energy policy for the country,” it said.
“We confirm our commitment to the rapid deployment of renewable energy in South Africa as required by the National Climate Change Response Green Paper and the Integrated Resource Plan 2010, and support initiatives aimed at ensuring that other policy objectives like economic growth, job creation, local manufacturing, BBBEE and skills transfer are facilitated in the process,” the open letter continued.
“We also acknowledge the importance of South Africa presenting a united front at COP17, and of showcasing to the international community what progress has been made in South Africa to address climate change,” it said.
The open letter stressed the fact that the IRP required in excess of R350 billion in investment into renewable energy over the next 19 years, and that investor confidence should be fostered and strengthened.
It went on to say that the renewable energy industry appealed to the Department of Energy, the Treasury and NERSA for transparency and consultation on all matters affecting possible changes to the REFIT procurement process.
“We caution that the final decision on the procurement process, and the way in which it is structured, may have a profound impact on the country’s ability to generate Certified Emissions Reductions ("carbon credits") under the Kyoto Protocol, and we pledge our expertise in assisting with this matter,” the open letter said.
“We reiterate our commitment and desire to contribute positively to the South African economy in general, and the energy sector in particular, using all the resources at our disposal” it concluded.