1 year ago

Opportunity Issue 98

  • Text
  • Property
  • Sme
  • Automotive
  • Manufacturing
  • Africa
  • Investment
  • Trade
  • Afcfta
  • Sacci
  • Midvaal
  • Economy
  • Programme
  • Petroleum
  • Sector
  • Global
  • Economic
  • African
  • Municipality
  • Infrastructure
Opportunity magazine is a niche business-to-business publication that explores various investment opportunities within Southern Africa’s economic sectors and looks to provide its readers with first-hand knowledge about South African business. Opportunity also looks to present South African business to international markets that may have interests in investing in South Africa. The publication is endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).

ENERGY William Price,

ENERGY William Price, Country Manager of Enel Green Power South Africa, explains to Opportunity how the company brings extensive global experience to multiple renewable technologies. What is Enel’s footprint in South Africa? Our footprint in South Africa includes 12 renewable energy projects, using diverse technology, wind, and solar. Our office in South Africa also supports developments in Kenya, Ethiopia, and an operating solar project in Zambia. Our structure is such that we have three business units: Business Development, Engineering, and Construction, as well as Operations and Maintenance. Our Business Development group has successfully won tenders for the development of 1 260 MW, as well as developing a pipeline for future growth. Once a successful tendered project has achieved financial close, it is handed over to our Engineering and Construction (E&C) team who have, to date, built nine projects with a capacity of 800 MW and are nearing the completion of another three projects with a capacity of 420 MW this year. What does Enel bring to South Africa in terms of expertise and technology? Enel brings global experience and expertise in the management of projects and in growing teams, consistently; globally, we’re operating in over 30 different countries. We have expertise in many aspects; however, sustainability is one of our key drivers. The solar farms and wind facilities that Enel is building are assisting the South African market to transition to a renewable energy future. Enel believes in creating shared value where we have project sites. We also look at the impact on the communities in which we operate. From a renewable energy technology perspective, there are not many companies like Enel. We are a multitechnology company and constantly strive to improve and learn from the projects where we employ cuttingedge technology. _____ Solar farms are helping South Africa transition to renewable energy while creating shared value with local communities.

What is Enel’s view on the state of the REIPPPP? The REIPPP programme is among the best – if not the best – renewable energy and Independent Power Producer programme in Africa. It aims to accomplish many goals that are commonly misunderstood. The programme is not just about the procurement of green power and renewable energy. Local content is also significant, as is local manufacturing, local ownership, a sustainable contribution to the community and preferential procurement. If there’s a negative, it relates to time frames. Now that frequent load-reduction is being implemented, we need the energy to come online and there’s a lot of fine-tuning and tweaking in the programme which may cause significant delays. Although there’s definitely been an improvement in the realisation that we need greater power capacity and delivery, rather urgently. Is renewable energy on the rise globally in terms of markets, prices and sustainability? The uptake of renewable energy is certainly on the rise, because the world is finally ‘getting it’. Government entities are finally seeing the value of renewable energy and its impact on the environment. There’s the transportation of the coal, the heavy truck emitting pollution, and damage to the road infrastructure as well as the environment. People are getting that. Renewable energy prices have come down. Independent Power Producers and manufacturers are trying to figure out how to produce more with the available resources they have. As equipment efficiencies improve and the ability to produce energy improves, the project tariffs will continue to drop. Technological improvements have led to Enel installing 4.2 MW wind turbines, which are currently the largest onshore units in Africa, and soon even larger units can be available. All these things have an impact on the pricing and on sustainability. We understand the value of doing projects in a sustainable way, as well as providing value in the communities in which we operate. It’s an important distinction which we pride ourselves on. What can be done to accelerate the ‘global transition’? It has a lot to do with the government’s policies, regulatory markets and opening up transmission access. There are many Independent Power Producers and energy companies that would like to establish these projects. They don’t require the same degree of specifications that combined cycle, coal plants or nuclear power plants do. To know how to run these projects and to build technical knowledge is important. All renewable The Local Control Room of Operation and Maintenance South Africa in Johannesburg allows for real-time updates on energy production, the resources available, and any issues that require attention. An intern programme has been running since 2017. projects have various types of technology and varying levels of required skills, but many companies can build a solar plant, so that creates competition – it opens up the markets. Pricing is re-established through a procurement process. A transparent credible tender will determine the market pricing. To do that requires government actions in establishing the regulatory policy and transmission access. More clarity on the opening of South Africa’s transmission structure is needed. There is some open access, but the operating rules are somewhat unclear. The cost mechanism is a key aspect that needs to be ready for the time that open access is achieved. A good comparison can be made with road infrastructure. The government initially established the roads infrastructure. The same thing should occur with the transmission so that entities can enter into the transmission line just like a road and deliver products to any customer along the ‘freeway’. There are technological challenges with that, but it has been done in other places in the world. Is Enel supporting local business and suppliers? Certainly, it is in Enel’s and the local economies’ best interest to do so – a locally manufactured product carries less issues from a logistics point of view. It makes business sense, rather than getting components and labour externally, we can positively contribute to the empowering of the local community. In terms of corporate social responsibility, what are the focus areas for Enel? Sustainable businesses create shared value. In its Strategy, Enel addresses the UN Sustainable Development Goals – some of which are education, healthcare, and access to electricity. Overall, the Group is significantly growing its renewable capacity, while gradually decommissioning its coal fleet. _____ The Local Control Room of Operation and Maintenance South Africa in Johannesburg allows for real-time updates on energy production, the resources available and any issues that require attention. An intern programme has been running since 2017. _____ William Price, Country Manager of Enel Green Power South Africa | 35

Other recent publications by Global Africa Network: