Radebe’s clarification of the government’s rationale for including renewables in SA’s energy mix comprised five points

Radebe's clarification of the government's rationale for including renewables in SA's energy mix comprised five points. A Fin24 report notes that they read as follows. 1. Climate change: SA committed itself to the Paris Agreement to mitigate the effects of climate change. This means SA must make a contribution to a global effort in reducing carbon emissions and other ‘climate resilient’ developments, Radebe said. ‘The basic rationale behind renewable energy is therefore arresting the high negative impact of fossil fuel sources of energy such as oil and coal,’ he explained. 2. Energy policy: The Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) 2010, promulgated on 6 May 2011, indicated that by 2030, 17 800 MW of new capacity would be provided by renewable energy, Radebe explained. Vision 2030 under the National Development Plan (NDP) also calls for SA to invest in skills, technology and institutional capacity to support a competitive renewable energy sector to leverage its solar resource. The NDP, adopted in 2012, states SA needs at least 20 000 MW of renewable energy by 2030, he noted. 3. Lack of investment in coal projects. Locally commercial banks such as Standard bank and Nedbank are ‘no more willing to support coal-fired power projects, Radebe said. Internationally, countries which are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are also against funding coal projects due to climate concerns. 4. Renewable energy is becoming cheaper. Radebe said that initially, renewable energy programmes were ‘relatively higher in pricing’, but costs have since declined. ‘Steep falls have been recorded from wind and solar PV technologies,’ he said. 5. Positive impact on the economy. Radebe highlighted the benefits of renewable energy to the economy, which includes attracting investment commitments of R209.4bn from the private sector. Renewable IPPs have also created 38 701 job years, meaning full-time jobs have been created for 38 701 people for one year. Local communities have also benefited from over R1bn spent by IPPs on education initiatives, among other socio-economic upliftment projects, he said.

Full Fin24 report


Peter Atkins
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