New body for renewable energy sector
Johannesburg - An umbrella body is to be launched to act as a voice for the renewable energy industry in South Africa.
"Creating a united voice for renewable energy custodians is imperative... in the development of the industry," said Pancho Ndebele, chairperson of the SA Solar Thermal Industry Association (Sastela) on Thursday.
The body, provisionally called the SA Renewable Energy Council, will be launched by four industry-related associations.
Other organisations helping to establish the council include the Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa (Sessa), the SA PhotoVoltaic Industry Association (Sapvia) and the SA Wind Energy Association (Sawea).
The announcement comes in the wake of the Green Economy Accord recently concluded through a series of engagements with government, businesses, civil society and community members.
The accord envisages aggressively addressing climate change concerns and the need to grow the economy by simultaneously stimulating the green economy and creating "green jobs".
"Both the private sector and non-government organisations have for many years been promoting renewable energy in an uncertain regulatory environment," said Ndebele.
"These efforts were never fully co-ordinated and it took time to get to where we are today, on the verge of exponential growth in the broader renewable energy industry."
Sessa secretary Jason Schaffler said it would concentrate on the installation of solar water heaters, aiming to roll out one million units by 2014.
Sapvia chairperson Chris Haw said government's approach to climate change and unemployment should be commended.
"Through the... council we have the opportunity to share ideas with like-minded people. We could engage government swiftly and in a unified, co-ordinated fashion."