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US teams with SA in renewables drive

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The US Embassy in Pretoria has partnered with the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, the CSIR and Connect4Climate to further promote awareness around renewables.

At the recently held 22nd Conference of Parties (COP22), countries from around the world, including South Africa and the United States, celebrated remarkable progress that has been made and the unity in the global community in fighting climate change with real action.

South Africa’s commitment to renewable energy is just one of many remarkable contributions it has made to this worldwide effort.

US Ambassador to South Africa, Patrick Gaspard, said: “South Africa has a world class renewable energy programme, thanks in part to its innovative energy policy that has facilitated the development of projects that are commercially competitive with plants using traditional fuels.

“I am proud that US firms are the biggest investors in the renewables sector; if South Africa continues to pursue its policy to expand the number of wind and solar projects, we expect that significant new foreign investments will come in, prices for the consumer will continue to improve and significant new jobs will be created in the sector.”

US and SA drive renewables

The joint-venture will host the inaugural ‘Energy21: Exchange Hub’ in Pretoria later this month where government level delegates will learn new tactics and develop new communication strategies to raise public awareness and build support for continued investment in the energy of the future.

Much of the country's renewables success has been as the result of the implementation of the highly successful Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.

REIPPP programme a success

A statement released on behalf of Energy21 said: "According to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa, solar photovoltaic and wind energy are 40% less expensive than baseload coal-fired power stations, providing economic benefits to the entire South African economy.

"Yet despite this programme’s success, the overwhelming majority of South Africans remain unaware of what has been achieved through renewable energy and how this impacts their lives. This is a recurring challenge that renewable energy communications and marketing industries, in particular, are countering."

“The goals of the Paris Agreement will only be achieved if all of us – experts in renewable energy and citizens alike, Americans, South Africans and people in countries around the world – commit ourselves to ensuring environmentally-friendly practices such as South Africa’s REIPPP [programme] can thrive and succeed.

“South Africa is one of few countries on Earth that has the potential to stand at the forefront of developing and deploying the world’s 21st century energy technology, and we look forward to working with leaders in the renewable energy sector who are paving the way. We thank DEA [Department of Environmental Affairs] and CSIR for partnering with us on this important initiative,” Ambassador Gaspard added.

Source: Esi-Africa.com (2016, 29-11-2016).https://www.esi-africa.com/news/us-teams-with-sa-in-renewables-drive/

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