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Budget Speech: Renewable sector needs for their ambitions to be met with action to contribute to the success of the economy



Published Feb 23, 2022


By Jan Fourie

As one of the longest running participants in South Africa’s renewable energy sector, Scatec is committed to the long-term success and sustainability of the country’s economy through provision of affordable and reliable power generation, and taking a leading position in the de-carbonisation of hard-to-abate industries.

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Following on from the recent State of the Nation Address, I look forward to updates on the macroeconomic factors critical to the success of the industry.

Key activities in the sector, such as the conclusion of Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with Sponsors in the Risk Mitigation Programme and regular Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) bidding rounds, would provide the country with the necessary Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) injection we so desperately need for growth and job creation.

Furthermore, South Africa is well positioned to become a major player in the global green H2/ammonia space, given our world class wind and solar resources. How will the government create the necessary enabling environment to fast-track South Africa’s development in this area?

There should be a comprehensive update on the restructuring of ESKOM, as concerns of grid availability, transmission, energy procurement and regulation are critical to the structuring and development of public and private sector companies in the future.

Similarly, the debt scenario in which the utility currently finds itself, is an obstacle for the organisation to improve its financial and operating position – whether to maintain and repair existing assets; or to access external financial support in the move towards the greening of the economy.

Consistent pledges and bailing out of government agencies cannot be made to the detriment of the people and industries of the nation.

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COP26 saw a commitment from global powers to support South Africa’s transition from a fossil fuel-dependent economy to that of a renewable one - contributing to international goals of climate change mitigation, as well as socio-economic improvement of those on the African continent.

Ambitions and commitments should be met through clear, unambiguous messaging and action, through public engagements such as SONA and today’s Budget Speech.

Jan Fourie is the sub-Saharan Africa general manager for renewables company SCATEC.

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*The views expressed here are not necessarily those of IOL or of title sites.


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