South African Photovoltaic Industry Association raises key challenges and opportunities facing South Africa’s Renewable Energy Industry

Vice Chairperson Ms. Busi Nxumalo

November 15, 18:00 pm - Regenesys Business School, Johannesburg – SAPVIA, represented by the Vice Chairperson Ms. Busi Nxumalo, was invited to be an active participant at a forum discussion hosted by Regenesys Business School. SAPVIA is a critical key stakeholder in the Renewable Energy space and was invited to provide crucial insight and guidance to the discussion around Renewables.

Participants, hosts and guests at the forum tackled the following to try and come up with a conclusive answer on the role renewables will play in South Africa’s future energy demands;

  • Unpacking Eskom’s current Corporate Plan, to understand the energy demand forecasts in the short to medium term.
  • Understanding the 2018 Draft IRP particularly when it comes to the least cost model assumptions used.
  • Addressing the issue of potential Job losses for traditional sectors that are currently crucial for energy supply South Africa, such as coal and oil.
  • Understanding the critical role, the energy mix of Solar PV, hydropower, wind, gas and coal will play in providing sustainable energy into our national grid.

SAPVIA’s comments in addressing the above-mentioned were consistent with earlier submissions made to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy (PPCE) with regards to the 2018 Draft IRP. The following was highlighted;

  • Solar PV costs have reduced drastically over the years and this reduction is well aligned with the least cost model the underpinned the draft 2018 IRP. Given the reduction in the cost of Solar technology and other forms of renewable energy technology, SAPVIA believes that it is cost-optimal to aim for 85% renewable electricity share by 2050.
  • In as far as addressing potential job losses, the renewable energy industry has great potential of creating alternative jobs and absorbing jobs lost, especially through intense localization of the manufacturing value-chain of renewable energy technology.
  • Small ‘’glitches’’ such as the procurement gap in terms of Solar PV in the REIPPP programme between 2023-2024, may threaten industry growth and undermine the potential Solar PV has in creating sustainable jobs.
  • There needs to be a greater allocation for procurement of small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) to at least 500 MW that can be ramped-up over a 5-year period. This sector is equally very crucial in creating jobs and securing growth and development of the South African economy
  • The Renewable Energy sector is the only sector with an accelerated uptake of energy supply into the national grid therefore it makes sense to go with Renewables given the current energy crisis in South Africa.

SAPVIA is therefore confident that Renewables are indeed the future of energy supply in South Africa, as this is best way to secure sustainable energy supply at affordable rates.