The 2015 SA International Renewable Energy Conference (SAIREC) kicked off at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Sunday with wins for both small business owners and South African school pupils.
Ten successful bidders from across the country were announced as the winners of tenders for a stake in the national renewable energy power grid. They were Adams Solar PV Project (Pty) Ltd, Bellatrix Solar PV Project, Du Plessis Solar PV4, Steynsrus PV2, Heuningspruit PV1, Steynsrus PV1, Klawer Wind Farm, Hopefield Community Wind Farm, George Small-Scale Biomass to Energy, and Busby Renewables (Biomass).
Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson made the announcement on Sunday evening during a cocktail event kicking off the SAIREC. These were successful bidders in the energy department’s Small Projects Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.
Through the programme, the department allocated 100 megawatts (MW) of the “3725MW to the procurement of small projects which, individually, have a maximum contracted capacity of 5MW”. Projects with a generation capacity of between one and 5MW using technology, such as onshore wind, solar photovoltaic, biomas, biogas, and landfill gas, were considered.
“I congratulate all the winners and I encourage you to grow your businesses,” said Joemat-Pettersson. Also winning on the evening were pupils from various schools in South Africa. They had taken part in an energy-related art competition.
The youngsters, from every grade in the schooling system, won between R3500 and R10,000 for their artwork. Their art will be auctioned off with 50 percent going to the pupil and the other half to the school.
Joemat-Pettersson also welcomed her African counterparts to the conference, including Angola’s Energy and Water Minister Joao Baptista Borges, Burkino Faso’s Mines and Energy Minister BA Boubacar, and Malawi’s Natural Resources, Energy, and Mining Minister Bright Msaka.
“SAIREC is not a South African conference. This is Africa’s,” said Joemat-Pettersson.
The International Renewable Energy Conference (IREC) is a partnership between government’s and the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21). The South African leg (SAIREC) is the sixth to be held and the first to be hosted on the African continent.
It will officially begin on Monday and run until October 7 with discussions and debates on renewable energy, harnessing Africa’s vast resources, and issues pertaining to the in-development Grand Inga hydro power scheme on the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of Congo.