The MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Hon Mac Jack said the Northern Cape occupies a central position in the global debate regarding the renewable energy contribution in South Africa.
“Experts call us the Mecca of Renewable Energy and recently the national minister of energy, Honourable Jeff Radebe, referred to the Northern Cape as the Solar King of the world. Indeed, that is no further from the truth, we are the home to sustainable private investment in Renewable Energy,” said Jack.
To date, the Northern Cape is a host to 51 of the Country’s 102 Independent Power Producers with more than 19 projects already connected to the grid at the capacity of over 900MW. The Northern Cape has a potential to generate energy by means of Concentrated Solar Panels (CSP), Photovoltaic (PV) and Offshore Wind.
“The Northern Cape Province aims to become a net exporter of green energy by 2020, and achieve an overall energy saving of 24% by 2030,” he said. The statement by MEC Jack, comes days before the Province host the Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition under the them; “Driving Economic Growth and Transformation in the Northern Cape through Renewable Energy”.
The Renewable Energy Conference will be held on the 23rd -24th August 2018, in De Aar, Northern Cape Province.
The main objective of the conference is to create awareness and promote integrated renewable energy planning in the Province across all spheres of Government.
The Conference will be attended by key stakeholders in the sector such as, Eskom and Independent Power Producers and dignitaries which include the Minister of Energy, Hon Jeff Radebe and Minister of Cooperative Governance, Dr Zweli Mkhize hosted by Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas and MEC Jack.
Jack said: “The Renewable Energy Conference is envisaged to gather knowledge and inputs from experts, potential investors and government stakeholders in order to encourage investments in the Northern Cape Province. Investments in the province will boost the economy, help curb unemployment and improve the socio-economic status of the people of the province.”
He indicated that the Northern Cape Province is essentially the gateway for investments in renewable energy specifically focusing on solar energy and to a small extent wind.
“To date, since the first bid window, we have attracted investment totalling R30.7 billion. This has created thousands of jobs, supported socioeconomic development (SED) spend and supported small entrepreneurs.”
“Over and above these benefits, the most important aspect is the contribution to the national grid in the form of clean energy that these investments will bring. Carbon neutral energy generation that doesn’t pollute like hydrocarbon-based coal and oil will have extensive benefits for the planet and thus future generations, this makes us very proud of the Northern Cape sun and wind.”
Jack said if they had to overcome the triple challenge of inequality, poverty and unemployment in the Province, “we should work harder to grow the economy and create more jobs through natural means such as wind and sun.
Issued by: Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism
Enquiries: Zandisile Luphahla (Media Liaison Officer) 060 997 5404
Thandi Modibela: (Communications Manager) 082 373 8656
Tebogo Velembo: (Marketing officer) NCTA 071 462 3150