South Africa to Host Top Renewable Energy Conference

South Africa becomes the sixth country and the first in Africa to host the International Renewable Energy Conference (IREC) from 4 to 7 October in Cape Town.
The conference being held under the theme: “Re-energizing Africa”. Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe says the conference will profile renewable energy opportunities available in South Africa and Africa to producers of renewable power as their next investment destination.
“South Africa, through its Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme, is becoming one of the biggest markets for renewable energy and in future biomass, wind power, solar power and hydropower will contribute 11.4 gigawatts of renewable energy to the grid,” said Radebe.

“We are now capable of manufacturing and integrating various components into a whole range of energy generating devices for these applications that are currently undergoing testing. “The benefit of our hydrogen and fuel cell technologies Programme is the use of platinum which will also open opportunities into the automotive catalytic converter market and promote beneficiation of one of our most abundant minerals. In this regard, we have established and are strengthening our partnership with the private sector to do final tests and commercialize various components and full energy solutions,” he added.

The Department of Science and Technology is supporting the country’s energy policies through research and technology development in low and carbon-free technologies that can be commercialized and rolled out to increase energy security and access to all South Africans.

Greenpeace International Executive Director, Kumi Naidoo said the opening of the four-day SAIREC offers African states an opportunity to increase their renewable energy targets and make commitments towards building decentralised energy systems, which could take millions on the continent out of poverty.

“Countries in Africa have ever-growing energy needs, and in terms of social justice, a key priority must be ensuring energy access to all of Africa’s people. The vision of achieving 100% renewable energy by 2050 is indeed possible. Africa can leapfrog dirty development, and instead invest in decentralised renewable energy solutions, putting power back into people’s hands,” Naidoo said

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