Two of the renewable sectors leading representative voices have come together to launch an innovative programme to drive change, enhance the local skills base and ensure South Africa reaps the full benefits of a decarbonised economy.
Niveshen Govender, SAPVIA’s chief operations officer, says South Africa has historically relied on much-needed foreign investment and know-how, but the time has come for South Africans to step up and become developers. “We have so much to gain by empowering local communities and upskilling individuals across the RE value chain”, he says.
The Developing Developers programme, which launched on 17 September with more than 600 participants in attendance, is designed to address the gaps in the local industry and ensure effective knowledge sharing across the value chain of South Africa’s nascent renewables sector.
“We have set ambitious targets for the growth of renewables, with wind and solar PV set to take precedence in the low-carbon and renewable economy. The potential for South Africa is unprecedented, not least the potential financial rewards that could be reaped on both an individual and collective level,” said SAWEA CEO, Ntombifuthi Ntuli.
SAWEA and SAPVIA want to ensure that local developers, current or potential, can access the knowledge and expertise needed to take projects from development through due diligence, financial close right up to commissioning.
“The Developing Developers series will be the first of our initiatives to drive effective change and build local competence to a global standard so we can develop world-leading projects that will deliver the energy security and supply we desperately need,” added Govender.
South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) represents the interests of over 100 members who are invested in the South African wind power value chain and SAPVIA is the representative voice for more than 370 companies in the solar PV industry in South Africa.
The two organisations have partnered with the IPP Office, REEFSA and the Black Energy Professionals Association (BEPA) to present a seven-part series of workshops to address key areas that aspiring developers need to understand if they want to succeed.