Renewable energy in South Africa – open panel discussion and debate

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    Open panel discussion and debate:

    “Renewable energy in South Africa – going backwards or forwards?”

    You are cordially invited to attend an open panel discussion and debate

    hosted by: EE Publishers

    in association with: SAAEAFFF, SAIEE, SAIPPA, SANEA and SESSA

    entitled:

    “Renewable energy in South Africa – going backwards or forwards?”

    DATE: Tuesday 23 August 2011

    TIME: 15h30 for 16h00

    VENUE: Axiz Auditorium, Midrand, Gauteng (map and directions below)

    COCKTAIL PARTY: A cocktail party will be served after the event.

    COST: Except for bona fide working journalists, editors and camera crews covering the debate, there is a fee of R50 per person, payable at the door, to help cover catering costs.

    PRESENTERS AND CHAIRMAN / MODERATOR

    The presenters at the panel discussion and debate are:

    ·         Thembani Bukula, regulator board member responsible for electricity, National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA)

    ·         Brigette Baillie, partner and head of the project development and finance practice, Webber Wentzel

    ·         Paul Eardley-Taylor, head of investment banking coverage for the energy, utilities & infrastructure sector, Standard Bank

    ·         Johan van den Berg, chief executive officer of the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA)

    Each presenter will speak for 15 minutes, followed by 60 minutes of Q & A and open discussion from the floor, and between presenters.

    The chairman and moderator for the panel discussion and debate will be Chris Yelland, managing director at EE Publishers.

    REGISTRATION

    Seating is limited to 350 persons and booking is essential. Please register early to book your seat(s) and avoid disappointment.

    DIRECTIONS AND MAP

    From the N1 highway between Johannesburg and Pretoria, take the

    New Road

    off-tamp, and head west (away from Midrand). At the first traffic light after the

    N1/New Road

    intersection, turn right into

    Sixth Road

    , and into the International Business Gateway, where you will be directed to the Axiz Auditorium. There is ample secure parking.

    BACKGROUND

    South Africa is significantly behind in the implementation of renewable energy despite an over-dependence on coal for electricity generation, and a well-known generation capacity shortfall.

    In May 2004, a government white paper on renewable energy was published setting the national policy objectives for renewable energy in South Africa.

    A target of 10 000 GWh of renewable energy per annum by 2013 was set by the Department of Energy (DoE), which would entail the commissioning of some 4000 MW of installed wind, concentrating solar (CSP) and/or solar photo-voltaic (PV) plant capacity. Eskom investigated various wind and CSP projects, but never proceeded due to shortcomings in the policy, legal and regulatory framework. It would appear now that there is no chance that this target will even remotely be met.

    Then in April 2011, the national integrated resource plan for energy (IRP 2010 – 2030) set a further ambitious target of 21,5 GW of new installed renewable energy generation capacity by 2030, comprising 9200 MW of wind capacity, 8400 MW of solar PV capacity, 1200 MW of solar CSP capacity and 2600 MW imported hydro capacity by 2030.

    For the last several years, the DoE and NERSA have been working on the details and promulgation of a renewable energy feed-in tariff (REFIT) framework to kick-start the development and implementation of renewable energy projects and a sustainable renewable energy sector in South Africa to meet these targets. The REFIT framework was finally completed in 2010.

    But to the dismay of those that had responded to calls for expressions of interest from the DoE, in March 2011, just as the formal requests for proposals in terms of the REFIT tariffs were to go out, NERSA announced that the REFIT tariffs were to be reviewed with a view to being reduced.

    And then in June 2011, to the amazement of the renewable energy sector, out of the blue the National Treasury advised the industry that it now considered the REFIT framework, which effectively guarantees prices for renewable energy delivered into the electricity grid by licensed generators, to be illegal and anti-competitive, and suggested an alternative competitive project tender (bidding) process, which is now been initiated and is in progeress.

    Within the industry, there is much disagreement on whether the REFIT process is indeed illegal, whether a competitive bidding process is the right way to kick-start a sustainable renewable energy sector in South Africa, and why we have such damaging lack of vision and policy flip-flops in the energy and power sector of South Africa, which serve to damage the economy, and delay and frustrate progress.

    This open panel discussion and debate will bring together diverse expert views to discuss what government and the industry is doing right and wrong, and how the implementation of renewable energy in South Africa should proceed.


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