SA seeks to boost renewables industry

Pretoria – In a move geared towards reducing the country’s carbon footprint, South Africa will launch an ambitious project aimed at boosting the green economy during COP 17.

The South African Renewables Initiative (SARi), which will be unveiled at the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is a programme the country will use to catalyse the growth of a green industry through the financing of large-scale renewable generation capacity.

“SARi presents a key element in ensuring that South Africa meets the emissions targets set by President Jacob Zuma who, at COP 15 in Copenhagen in 2009, committed South Africa to reducing its emissions trajectory to 34% below business as usual by 2020, and to 42% by 2025,” said Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies.

SARi is an integral part of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) and it will help to develop capacity in related industries by designing a financial solution that will result in the roll-out of large-scale renewable generation capacity.

The launch of SARi will be accompanied by the announcement of partnerships between the South African government and international governments and Development Finance Institutions that will work together to explore possibilities for further developing the renewables industry.

Davies said an initial design for a financing mechanism has been developed, which combines low-cost loans, insurance and other financial instruments with climate funding on a pay-for-performance basis.

“Success in the large-scale development of renewables could realise direct economic benefits of up to 40 000 jobs, contribute up to 15% of South Africa’s Copenhagen Commitment and decarbonise exports by up to 30% in increasingly carbon sensitive international markets,” added Davies.

SA is looking to use its international partnerships next year to help the country secure funding to enable an ambitious scale up of renewables. – BuaNews