SA gets energy plan partners

2011-12-07 22:33

Durban - South Africa has formed an international partnership with four European countries in an attempt to source funding for its renewable energy programme.

It is envisaged that the partnership, which aims to mobilise funding for environmentally friendly energy, will be a major boost to South Africa’s renewable energy initiative.

"South Africa has already benefited from international partnerships in the energy field but this is different," Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said during the launch.

Working with international partners would ensure there was funding and the workforce needed for the renewable energy to grow, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said.

"Renewable energy is an opportunity for Africa. African countries need to be producers as well as consumers of next technologies," he said.

South Africa wanted to utilise the opportunities presented by climate change to create jobs and grow the economy, he said.

Africa had missed the opportunities brought by the advent of the ICT. "We are experiencing a new revolution. The climate change also presents opportunities," he said.

South Africa hoped to create 27 000 jobs in the next few years from renewable energy sector, he said.

The partnership was signed by representatives from the United Kingdom, Norway, Germany, Denmark and the European Investment Bank.

The UK’s Secretary for energy and climate change, Chris Huhne described South Africa’s renewable targets as ambitious.

"South Africa’s targets are ambitious, so we need to match that ambition with the private finance to get projects off the ground," he said.

Martin Lidegaard, Denmark’s Climate and Energy Minister, said South Africa’s energy initiatives was key to transforming the energy sector.

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