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Western Cape Business 2022

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OVERVIEW Energy The Atlantis Special Economic Zone is attracting greentech investors. SECTOR INSIGHT The Koeberg nuclear plant’s steam generators are due for replacement. Koeberg nuclear power station. Credit: Eskom The potential of renewable energy is being realised through the national independent power producer programme and there is a strong lobby to build a gas-toenergy plant in the province. In September 2018 the City of Cape Town launched a resilience assessment, the first step in a larger process. The Rockefeller Foundation chose the city as one of 100 around the world in which programmes would be tested to improve the ability of the city to withstand shocks such as severe droughts. The city wants to expand the lessons it learnt in the period of water shortage into other areas such as energy generation and energy efficiency. The Western Cape Provincial Government is also investing in resilience. A market intelligence report covering energy, renewable energy, water and waste was created by GreenCape to map the assets and challenges in these areas. In addition to trying to attract green investment into the province, the Western Cape is working for improved regulations related to small-scale embedded generation (SSEG). The City of Cape Town also wants to be able to rent out its infrastructure to a power producer who can supply a user via that infrastructure. This is known as “wheeling”. A start was made with the Darling wind farm, but more work needs to be done on the legislative framework. Much of this work is being done by a unit called the Sustainability Energy Markets within the Energy Directorate. Another area of focus for this group is to investigate energy use by lowincome households. President Ramaphosa’s announcement in 2021 that companies wanting to create power plants up to 100MW need no longer apply for licences will encourage and accelerate this trend. The Western Cape is lobbying hard for the national Department of Energy to allow Saldanha Bay to be a site for a gas-to-power plant. If a gas plant is built at Saldanha, then it could be a catalyst for the use of gas in many other sectors such as manufacturing and residential. The early rounds of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) continue to produce regular dividends. In October 2020, another wind farm started commercial operations. The Paardekraal East Wind Farm, which is located about 80km north-east of Ceres, is in the Witzenberg Local Municipality. The 110MW project was constructed by the Concor and Conco Consortium, Siemens Gamesa Renewable WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2022 34

OVERVIEW Energy supplied and installed the wind turbines, the towers were built by GRI in Atlantis and Mainstream Asset Management South Africa will manage the operations. The support of two of South Africa’s biggest institutional investors, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), has been crucial in getting the renewable energy sector off the ground. They have also helped communities fund their participation in community trusts. Typically, a community trust is established to represent the interest of the local community. Investment by black people into the renewable energy programme is not limited to community trusts. Pele Green Energy is engaged with a photovoltaic plant at Touwsrivier in the Western Cape as a shareholder and as a provider of construction management services. The Western Cape Provincial Government has a four-point energy plan: 1. Help municipalities to procure energy from IPPs. 2. Increase small-scale embedded generation like solar PV to decrease reliance on the national grid. 3. Increase the greening of government buildings. 4. Increase efforts to import Liquefied Natural Gas through Saldanha Bay and enable Eskom’s Ankerlig plant to operate on LNG rather than diesel. Recent gas finds by Total off the coast of Mossel Bay will accelerate the drive to switch to gas. The idea of home-owners being able to sell surplus electricity from rooftop solar systems was previously restricted to the Cape metropolitan area. The application of the provincial government’s Energy Security Game Changer has expanded this provision (via bylaws) to the whole province. There are 19 municipalities where rooftop solar PVs are connected to the electricity grid, 13 of which have nationally-approved tariffs in place. The City of Cape Town has signed an agreement with the United States Agency for International Development and the Southern Africa Energy Programme to look for ways to make solar PV more accessible. High costs of installation often preclude residents from taking the solar PV option for their homes. The Western Cape is positioning itself as a green business hub and is working to find energy alternatives for households and businesses. Greater Cape Town is home to 70% of South Africa’s manufacturers of renewable components. GreenCape is an agency that does research and runs projects in areas such as energy efficiency, waste, water and sustainable agriculture. It is a joint initiative of the City of Cape Town, Wesgro and the Provincial Government of the Western Cape. GreenCape states that nearly R700-million in green technology investments has already been attracted to the Atlantis Special Economic Zone, creating 300 jobs. A further R3.7-billion is anticipated by 2030, which will add more than 3 000 new jobs. Spanish wind tower manufacturer Gestamp Renewable Industries was an early investor in the zone. The Koeberg nuclear power station 30km north of Cape Town is South Africa’s, and Africa’s, only nuclear power station. The 1 840MW plant is due to have its steam generators replaced in 2022, a necessary condition for having its licence extended beyond 2024. It was commissioned in 1985. ■ ONLINE RESOURCES Atlantis Special Economic Zone: GreenCape: South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre: South African Wind Energy Association: 35 WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2022

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