Renewable energies attract R192 billion in foreign investment

According to a recent report by the Department of Energy (DoE, entitled 'The State of Renewable Energy in SA', the country's renewables sector has attracted some R192.6 billion in investment. Of this, R53.2 billion – the equivalent of 28% – was foreign investment.

  • Read a story recently published on Overseas Private Investment Corp's $400-million investment into a solar thermal plant in SA here.

The DoE report, released at the SA International Renewable Energy Conference (SAIREC), said that SA is on track to achieve a goal of 30% clean energy by 2025. Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson called renewables a "massive success story" for the country.

Successful indeed. Renewable energy prices continue to decrease rapidly. The average per-kilowatt tariff has dropped 68% over the past three year, and local prices are now on-par with Germany, a global market leader with the lowest tariffs. Furthermore, the cost of a new build for solar and wind energy is alleged to be the same as that of a coal power station. According to chief engineer at R&D Core, Tobias Bischof-Niemz, this means decisions can now be business-driven.

Several South African communities have benefitted greatly from various renewable energy project, and will continue to in the future. The report said:

"A total of R19.1bn has been committed to socio-economic development initiatives in these communities… The total projected value of goods and services to be procured from BBBEE suppliers is more than R101bn."

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