African renewables have recently seen unprecedented growth, but it is clear there are still challenges ahead, social-economic empowerment.
The Director General of IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) Adnan Amin, recently highlighted the impressive growth of renewables in Africa, but cautioned that countries must not lose sight of the broader social and economic benefits renewables can - and must - provide.
The subject of Social Economic Empowerment will be discussed in greater detail at the upcoming Wind Energy Summit South Africa, organized by Wind Energy Update, at a panel hosted by REEEP on the socio-economic implications of renewables in South Africa.
REEEP will be joined by South African government body DEDEAT and the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP), as well as OneWorld and WWF for the panel discussion.
Finding the right local partners often leaves projects struggling to make commercial profit while pursuing the policy objectives of job creation and improved access to energy for the country. As a result, the necessity of strong local relationships and understanding how to bridge the gap between commercial success and access to energy is more important than ever before.
With new international players moving into the space at an increased rate since international heavyweights Enel Green Power were announced as preferred bidders in the REIPPPP (Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme) third round. The panel aims to aid the market in understanding the importance of local relationships, how to do things the "South African way" and what is currently being done in the country to aid job creation. All of this should ultimately steer a project towards being selected as preferred bidder or indeed reaching financial close.