Reduce renewable energy risk - experts
Durban - Countries need to put in place clear policy frameworks before major renewable energy programmes are implemented, energy experts said on Monday.
"Regulators have to craft policy frameworks to reduce risks," International Renewable Energy Agency director general Adnan Amin said on the sidelines of the 17th Conference of the Parties [COP 17] to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in Durban.
Implementing renewable energy programmes would be easy if risks were eliminated, he said.
"Having 100% renewable energy is possible. Money is not a problem. Investors need to see enabling environment to invest."
Lettemieke Mulder, of First Solar, said countries needed to set up clear targets of how they wanted to implement renewable energy projects.
"They have to have correct policies and clear targets so that investors are clear."
The discussion was aimed at looking at finance solutions for renewable energy.
It emerged during the discussion that there was huge potential for Africa to take advantage of opportunities presented by the renewable energy industry.
Nimrod Zalk, deputy director general in the department of trade and industry, said Africa had to capitalise on renewable energy technology opportunities.
"We must not miss this technological wave. We must participate in the development chain," he said.
Africa had missed opportunities brought by the introduction of cellphones with not a single company which made mobile phones on the continent, said Zalk.
He said South Africa planned to go big on renewable energy with plans to produce 18MW from renewable energy by 2030. This would create more than 30 000 direct and indirect jobs.
Silas Zimu, CEO of Suzlon South Africa, called for renewable energy projects to be implemented immediately as South Africa was still at risk of massive power cuts.
"Renewable energy projects are implemented quicker and we need to start doing it now. We must stop talking and start doing," he said.