In March 2011, Eskom launched its 49M initiative to encourage all South Africans to cut their energy consumption by 10%, aiming to inspire and rally the country behind a common goal to save electricity and create a better future. 49M, referencing the 49 million population, has signed over 8,600 of the nation’s residents to date. Alongside these residents, over 70 partners have signed on including AngloGold Ashanti, Nedbank, Santam, MTN, Samsung, MassMart, Standard Bank, Food & Trees for Africa, Solidarity, the National Union of Mineworkers, and all eight South African State-owned companies, to name a few.
The most recent addition to the 49M initiative is business exhibitions company Terrapinn, who will be hosting 49M ambassadors at their upcoming Sustain & Build Africa event held 9th and 10th April at the Sandton Convention Centre. Gina Bester , MD of Terrapinn South Africa said the 49M pledge signing was a natural step for the company, as the initiative's objectives formed a large part of the company's overall corporate responsibility goals. "We are delighted to be joining the 49M initiative and to give back to our country through this energy saving drive," she said.
Sustain & Build Africa, collocated with Africa’s largest power and energy show- Power & Electricity World Africa, will be highlighting the latest developments in the design, construction and built environment sectors. Bringing together regional and international property developers and owners, architects, project developers, facilities managers and retail, the exhibition will feature on-floor seminars focusing on Intelligent Building and Lighting, Practical Architecture, and 49M Ambassadors.
Case studies from Nedbank, Samsung and Food & Trees for Africa will be presented on-site along with other 49M ambassadors to highlight the energy efficiency measures being taken by various companies in South Africa. Kim Frankental, project director for the show, stated “With energy efficiency strategies coming to the foreground and the rise of renewable energy here in South Africa, we are in a prime space for bringing together key leaders in the industry.” Joined by Eskom as Diamond Partner and Samsung as Diamond Sponsor, this year is proving to be the most successful yet for the event.
Solar and wind projects taking off
South Africa is one of the fastest growing countries in Africa. However its aging energy infrastructure is unable to meet the rapid growth in demand for electricity. Currently Eskom generates about 95% of South Africa’s electricity by means of coal-fired power stations; nevertheless there is a tremendous amount of pressure being placed on the grid. As such, the approval and construction of the renewable energy projects from the first window of the IPP procurement programme have been greatly welcomed. These projects translate into a smarter grid and a more reliable electricity supply.
Projects include a 138MW wind energy plant by Mainstream Renewable Power in Jeffreys Bay and SunEdison South Africa’s 28MW solar plant in Limpopo. The R1.2bn Soutpan project in the Blouberg municipal area, is to be followed by a 30MW project in Witkop, near Polokwane (valued at R1.4bn).
The Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm alone is expected to supply enough electricity to power more than 200,000 homes in turn it will eliminate more than 300,000 tons of carbon emissions each year.
These are just a few of the projects that contribute to the 3,725 MW of mandated renewable energy projects by 2016; adding significantly to the improvement of South Africa's energy mix. According to the DoE's Integrated Resource Plan for electricity, renewable energy will account for 42% of new electricity capacity by 2030.
Leaders in the renewable energy sector will be gathering at the 16th annual Power & Electricity World Africa event to discuss the best strategies to tackle the projects and energy challenges facing the region.
Eskom's initiative for IPP's
According to Energy Minister Dipuo Peters, the Department of Energy (DoE) plans to procure 7,761 MW of baseload capacity from independent power producers (IPPs) between 2012 and 2025. There has since been an overwhelmingly positive response from developers, investors and suppliers that hope to have a stake in these tenders.
After a lengthy first round bidding process, the agreements have since reach financial closure, marking the commencement of the first large scale renewable energy projects in South Africa. Some of these projects should begin development as soon as 2014. The first round bids alone represent an investment value of around R47- billion.
Eskom executive Kannan Lakmeeheran said the signing ceremony was "a significant milestone for South Africa,” adding that the “state power utility could not meet the country's energy requirements on its own”. Lakmeeheran went on to say that, "The electricity industry, as we increasingly see, will be one of a hybrid nature, with Eskom still retaining a significant position but a vibrant private sector developing too.”
As keynote speaker at Power & Electricity World Africa, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters will be presenting an overview of South Africa’s energy future by outlining the key drivers of the African energy agenda. Alongside the Minister, Eskom, Diamond Partner of the event, will be speaking at the conference, discussing how to tap into these opportunities.
Pre registration is now open for the Sustain & Build Africa event. Register your attendance now to learn more about the latest developments in the design, construction and built environment sectors.
To learn more about renewable energy and the constant projects and developments in the sector, attend the Power & Electricity World Africa four day conference and come away with ideas to innovate your offering in the current market.
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