Renosterberg Renewable Energy Project

Address by the Premier of the Northern Cape, MS Sylvia Lucas, on the occasion of the Launch of the Renewable energy project Renosterberg
01 June 2013

Programme Director,
Mayor Mr A.Z Kwinana
Councillors
Management of Scatec and Kentz
Members of the community
Comrades and Friends

It is a great pleasure for me to join you today and celebrate with you the launch of this renewable energy project. This is indeed a remarkable achievement which is geared to maximise efforts to develop renewable energy. This is a new beginning for the whole community of the Renosterberg area.

What we are witnessing here today is a culmination of the work we have been task with, enjoined by the ANC’s 52nd Conference Resolution to “ensure a security of supply of energy resources, and pursuing an energy mix that includes clean and renewable sources to meet the demands of our fast growing economy without compromising our commitment to sustainable development.”

Indeed, we would also like to express our sincere gratitude to the companies Scatec and Kentz for the pivotal role that they have played for the realisation of this project. The roll out of renewable energy projects throughout the length and breadth of our province is a very important part of the green economy.

The President of both the African National Congress and the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Jacob Zuma called upon us to create space for the private sector. Such a call put impetus on us to ensure a regulatory environment that is favourable to the private sector, in assisting us towards achieving our goals.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Northern Cape, with its abundance of sunshine and vast tracts of available land, has been attracting considerable interest from solar energy investors of late.

The government is driving a project to build a multi-billion rand solar park – a concentrated zone of solar generating plants and solar component manufacturing facilities – in the province, in partnership with private investors.

Solar power –  a clean alternative to both fossil fuels and nuclear power –  would help alleviate the pressure on South Africa's largely coal-based energy supply while boosting the country's overall energy capacity and helping the country achieve its target of a 34% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020.

As electricity demand has increased rapidly over the recent years of the expansion of industries and the demand for household use, the country faces the twin challenge of ensuring energy security and containing greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change.

The ANC led government has since 2009, placed the issue of renewable energy high on its agenda. Our wise leadership recognized the immediate and future benefits of renewable energy. With strong solar and wind energy resources, the Northern Cape has the potential to derive a significant portion of its electricity capacity from clean, secure, and sustainable sources of energy.

Solar energy is widely regarded as a solution that will not only provide an answer to alternate energy sources but it is an innovation that provides sustainable social and economic value because energy is a key driver to generate growth, development and employment.

The new renewable energy Directive creates a stable framework for the promotion and development of renewable energy sources.
This and other strategic economic development projects within the Renosterberg area should play a meaningful role in the improvement of our people’s standards of living. The persistent nature of unemployment, poverty and inequality, particularly in this area, cannot be ignored. This venture blends well with the Government’s efforts of turning the tide against the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

Everyone here is united by the common challenge of ensuring stable and secure energy supplies for our citizens whilst simultaneously tackling climate change. This is not to be taken lightly - the solution we find will determine the future economic environment and standard of living for generations to come.

Programme Director, we are delighted that this project will certainly improve local access to energy services where needed. It will also bring economic benefits – jobs and higher incomes for the community.

The renewable energy agenda taken a centre stage and has been elevated to greater heights. Electrification, through sustainable sources of energy, is critical in ensuring our people have access to basic services and is a step toward improving our infrastructure and long-term economic development.”
May this bring hope to the people of the Renosterberg area. May they enjoy the maximum benefits yielded by this project. We are confident that, the community would have been empowered in numerous ways through this significant project. The success of this project heavily relies on commitment to implementation and effective stakeholder engagement.

Once more, congratulations on this milestone. May this mark the beginning of greater things to come.

I thank you

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