Cape Town – More than 3 000 delegates from around the world are expected in the city for the South African International Renewable Energy Conference (SAIREC), which takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from Monday until Wednesday.
It is the first time the conference, which takes place every two years, will be held on African soil with previous hosts being the United Arab Emirates, India and the US.
The theme for this year’s conference is RE-energising Africa, with topics to include energy interconnectivity on the African continent, transport and eco-mobility, technological innovations and energy-smart cities, among others.
The conference will also highlight the latest technology trends in the renewable energy sector, promote renewable energy as a preferred solution and highlight the role renewable energy can play in terms of accelerating overall development.
Minister of Energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson, said the country was ready to “chart the way forward for this sector with like-minded countries that realise the benefits of investing in renewable energy”.
“We believe that the renewable energy value chain offers solutions for increasing energy access, security of supply, emissions reduction, sustainable development and trust that this conference will contribute to the advancement of this sector in South Africa, Africa and around the world.”
Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe was quoted this week as saying that in future, biomass, wind power, solar power and hydro power would contribute 11.4GW of renewable energy to the grid.
Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies said the Solar Energy Programme (SEP) would deliver a quarter of the country’s renewable energy by 2030.
“We need to appreciate the size and extent of the SEP that we have. By far, South Africa has the biggest renewable energy programme in Africa and one of the biggest in the world,” Davies said speaking in the Northern Cape this week.
The Department of Energy will host SAIREC 2015 in conjunction with the South African National Energy Development Institute, the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit.
Government ministers, high-level decision makers, experts, specialists and thought leaders, as well as private sector players and civil society will discuss and exchange their visions, experiences, and solutions to accelerate the global scale-up of renewable energy.
Joemat-Pettersson said SAIREC 2015 would provide Africa with a unique opportunity to showcase its nascent renewable energy industry and gain experience from those countries at the forefront of renewable energy deployment.
“We are ready to showcase the successes we have achieved thus far with respect to the renewable energy independent power producers programme and other green projects.”
She added that over the past decade these conferences had provided the motivation for several momentous initiatives including the Chinese Renewable Energy Law (BIREC 2005) and the India Solar Mission (DIREC 2010).
October 2 2015
By Helen Bamford