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Solarcentury Africa sees renewable energy promise in SA budget

Solarcentury Africa sees renewable energy promise in SA budget

Mar 8, 2014

8 March 2014 ~ South Africa’s Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan acknowledged the need to address climate change and reduce emissions during his budget speech in February 2014 and a promising development was the attention given to renewable energy. Government concluded 47 renewable energy projects, worth R70 billion, in 2012 and 2013, many of which are already under construction. Combined, these new developments will add 2 460 MW of capacity to the national grid, easing constraints as well as pressure on the economy.

Solarcentury Africa believes these are positive developments. “While the rest of the world looks to a number of other sources for power, including nuclear, South Africa’s continued reliance on coal is not environmentally sustainable,” says Gareth Warner, managing director. “The increased investment in renewables by government is a sign that it realises this, too. It is for this reason that the ISMO Bill and the IPP programme can only be beneficial to the country. Having various suppliers, who draw their power from more environmentally friendly and more sustainable sources, would introduce competition to the sector, and would boost the economy and, ultimately, make South Africa greener.”

“Even more supply will be drawn from renewable energy sources in the near future, as government has earmarked R45 billion for investment in the sector.  It’s key that any country develops an energy mix and looks at generating energy from a number of sources, not just coal, in the case of SA. Solar energy generation is becoming more price competitive and is a commercial solution for many businesses in the country,” he adds.

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