Cape Town - The South African government’s renewable energy procurement policy has been given a definitive thumbs up from leading business figures at the South African International Renewable Energy Conference (SAIREC), but at least one of them warned on Tuesday against the risk of losing momentum.
Dr Jannie Retief, a renowned international expert on renewable energy and chief executive of the AIIM Group of Companies, and fellow panellist Ivan Rice, chief executive of GreenCape, both heaped praise on the Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPP) during a session on socio-economic development at SAIREC on Monday.
Retief told delegates attending the session that the REIPP had left no room for confusion by setting out very clearly what was expected from energy producers, from minimum community ownership to detail on inclusion of female-owner vendors and small and medium-sized enterprises. The policy had clearly been carefully designed to advance government policy at the same time as fostering consistency in the procurement process.
Rice, CEO of GreenCape, an industry body that supports businesses operating within the green economy in the Western Cape, said the stability and security of the programme had resulted in the financial community quickly building confidence in the fledgling industry. Retief added that this stability had been achieved even while setting the bar high. While the process was easy to follow in terms of being very clear, Retief said, the rules were actually quite onerous for business.