1 February 2013 – After a successful inaugural event which took place in Johannesburg a year ago, The Solar Future South Africa will be heading back to the Rainbow Nation on 12th of February 2013. “The conference in January 2012 was the first one we organised in South Africa and it was a tremendous success. As a result, we decided to come back next year,” Edwin Koot, CEO of Solarplaza – the driving force behind the event – says.

Being an international platform for solar energy stakeholders, Solarplaza is known for its solar energy conferences of which it has organised over 40-odd around the world so far. The event in 2012 drew over a hundred high profile business leaders, energy experts from around the world, and representatives from government.

They included energy expert Andrew McKenna from US-based Bella Energy, who said he was “very impressed with the quality of the speakers who were generally prime players in the emerging South African market."

Some of the parties that have confirmed their attendance for the 2013 event include representatives from the Department of Energy and Eskom as well as various leading energy contractors and developers from South Africa and abroad, international solar PV guru and entrepreneur Jigar Shah, and Dick Berlijn.

Berlijn, managing director of Pretoria-based solar electricity development firm Subsolar is most looking forward to particularly the sessions that deal with solar beyond the subsidised programs. “As an industry we have to prove our sustainability and we have to make sure that we create new business cases, and reach new off-takers so we are no longer dependent on government programs,” he says.

Koot adds that the focus in the 2013 event will be the potential of solar and its competition position as an alternative energy source as well as how companies can tap into solar without depending on government tenders and subsidies: “We will also pay attention to how solar, as an alternative energy source, can be best marketed.”