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In today’s Standing Committee on Economic Opportunities, Tourism, and Agriculture, representatives from the Western Cape Government’s Energy Security Game Changer and GreenCape revealed that the Western Cape is 85% renewable energy ready. This means 21 of our 30 municipalities have approved legislation permitting independent solar photovoltaic (solar PV) installation, giving businesses and residents the opportunity to use solar PV energy independently from the national grid. This is the highest number in South Africa.

Between November 2013 and June 2017, the Western Cape had generated 2554 gigawatt hours of electricity, offsetting 2,6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. This is in line with our province’s commitment to sustaining energy supply while reducing carbon emissions responsible for global warming.

In order for a municipality to approve the installation of solar PV, it must complete the following three steps:

Approve a council policy outlining solar PV installation;
Pass a by-law approving the installation of solar PV technology; and
Request permission from Nersa to apply a tariff on solar PV electricity.

I will be inviting the Energy Security Game Changer back to my Committee in the coming months to brief us on the progress made on a wheeling mechanism and wiring codes, which will allow independent power producers to trade electricity, and electricians to sign off on smart metres.

Currently, Western Cape municipalities have seen a 600% increase in solar PV capacity since 2015, adding an additional 60MW of installed solar PV capacity. As a result, the price of renewable energy has dropped from R3,50 to 60c per Kw creating an affordable, green energy alternative to the province in line with South Africa’s commitments to cutting carbon emissions as part of the Paris Agreement.

Today, 65% of new component manufacturing for renewable energy in South Africa is based in Cape Town, the country’s leading city in renewable green energy with the newly designated Green Tech Economic Zone in Atlantis.

This sector has attracted R14 billion in investment to the Western Cape, creating over 5000 permanent jobs so far in the renewable energy sector for local communities. By the end of the 2018/19 financial year, 14 Western Cape Government facilities will have solar PV installed, saving R4,4 million each year in electricity costs.

This is proof that the DA-led Western Cape is the continental leader in the green renewable energy space, and the most advanced Province in terms of renewable energy generation. GreenCape’s Small Scale Embedded Generation (SSEG) systems framework less than 1Mw, is now adopted by the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and is now a standard for municipalities across South Africa.

As the DA in the Western Cape, we remain committed to ensuring the vitality of our economy through a seamless transition to renewable energy. We will continue to create a vibrant green economy which is in line with South Africa’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, while attracting investment, and continuing to create much needed jobs for our people.

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