Eastern Cape to host a ground-breaking renewable energy conference and exhibition
19 Oct 2012
The Eastern Cape province, in partnership with the European Union, will be hosting what is sure to be a ground-breaking and trend-setting renewable energy conference and exhibition in East London next month, 28 to 30 November. Shaping and advancing the province’s socio-economic development through large-scale deployment and integration of renewable energy sources into the energy system, the three-day event will seek to raise awareness about renewable energy opportunities in the Eastern Cape.
Showcasing existing projects and identifying opportunities for future projects, research and development in the sector as well as skills development will do this. Moreover, the conference aims to strengthen existing partnerships whilst establishing new ones between the European Union and the Eastern Cape based on the common goal of increasing renewable energy use for the benefit of the people, planet and the economy.
After all sustainable energy is about generating and using energy in a way that provides optimal social, environmental and economic outcomes, both currently and into the indefinite future. As such, renewable energy is aptly defined as energy that can be naturally replenished.
Driven by the Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) in partnership with the Department of Energy, the conference, exhibition and project site visits are key components of a visit by a European Union trade and development delegation to the province. The Premier of The Eastern Cape, Ms Noxolo Kiviet, will be on hand to formally welcome the delegation upon their arrival in the Eastern Cape on 27 November.
The MEC for Economic Development and Environmental Affairs, Mr Mcebisi Jonas, said, “we are immensely excited about the potential that this event holds, both for the province and for the country as a whole. As one of the pre-eminent authorities on renewable energy, our partnership with the European Union will add a vast amount of impetus and intellectual weight to the discussions therefore we are confident that this event will herald the start of a new era of sustainable energy for all South Africans.
It is also important to note that the national procurement process is weighted by 30% in favour of development criteria, including; job creation; local content; ownership; socio-economic development; preferential procurement (the amount of procurement spend on B-BBEE); management control; and enterprise development ”.
The conference is made up of two days of seminars, discussions and facilitated matchmaking between Project developers and potential funding and development support institutions. It will provide delegates with insight into the current and developing regulatory and institutional arrangements pertaining to renewable energy projects and programmes in South Africa, the investment environment, as well as available and potential capacity within the province to support the uptake of these renewable energy sources. Running alongside the conference, an exhibition of renewable projects, products, services and technologies will also be on offer, allowing delegates a chance to see first hand the status of the provinces renewable energy landscape.
Thanks to the suitability of the Eastern Cape province for Renewable Energy (RE), the South African National Department of Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2010), has allocated 17.8 GW of new generation capacity to Renewable Energy (RE) technologies over the next 20 years. Of the 2459.3 MW that has been allocated to date through the Ministerial Determination issued by Minister Peters last year, the Eastern Cape accounts for thirty six percent (876 MW) of the total, constituted by 10 wind farms and 1 solar photovoltaic farm. Future project bid allocations are expected to include more of these and also extend to bio-energy and small-scale hydro projects.
Factors that render the Eastern Cape suitable for Renewable Energy uses include: excellent wind and solar resources, grid access, access to land, and the comparative absence of competing activities or land uses. In addition to solar and wind power, the province has significant potential for biomass, biogas and biofuels.
Sustainable energy is about generating and using energy in a way that provides optimal social, environmental and economic outcomes, both currently and into the indefinite future. As such, renewable energy is defined as energy that can be naturally replenished, and examples of this include power from sunlight, wind, and water hydro-power, and bio-fuels or biogas. The Eastern Cape's existing Sustainable Energy Strategy, emanating from the DEDEAT’s Provincial Energy Summit in 2008, sets out ten priorities for enabling sustainable energy development.
These include, for example, stimulating industrial development and job creation by strengthening local production of renewable and other energy-related components and addressing methods of alleviating energy poverty in the province. The strategy, which aims to facilitate the support and development of local energy supply capacity for the Eastern Cape, will also result in local economic development and job creation, as well as reducing the provinces’ contribution to Greenhouse gas emissions.
The National Minister of Energy, Dipuo Peters said, “the need for sustainable energy provision, which also includes appropriate utilisation of energy sources from an end user perspective, has never been more acute than now. The indisputable threats citizens face in relation to climate change, energy access, security and affordability clearly indicate that economic prosperity, social equity and environmental quality of the Eastern Cape province and the country at large depends on the advances we make within the energy efficiency and renewable energy spheres.
We must balance these two options for the benefit of the current and future generations. With the support of the European Union, we are looking forward to informing and strengthening the implementation of the Sustainable Energy Strategy of the Eastern Cape province. We are also looking up to the countries of the North for partnerships and investment so that we can be able to achieve our carbon reduction commitments particularly within the energy sector”.
For a chance to be a part of this ground breaking event, either as a conference delegate or exhibitor, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the Eastern Cape - European Union Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition, visit the website and pre-register online today http://greenenergy-ec.co.za/.
For enquiries and media interview please contact:
Mr Sixolile Makaula, Communications Manager - DEDEAT
Cell: 072 751 5001
Tel: 043 605 7117
Mr Nkosohlanga Mboniswa
Chief of Staff – DEDEAT
Cell: 082 200 4756
For RSVP enquiries please contact:
Michelle Govender, PR Manager
Cell: 079 499 83 27
Tel: 031 266 9130
Issued by: Eastern Cape Economic Development and Environmental Affairs
19 Oct 2012
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