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CSIR, Nedbank first SA organisations to join renewable energy group

By , ITWeb
South Africa , 01 Feb 2021

RES4Africa Foundation (Renewable Energy Solutions for Africa) has announced that South African research centre, CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) and financial services provider Nedbank have become members of the organisation.

In a media statement the Rome-based organisation said their latest members are the first South African organisations to take part in the assembly of RES4Africa members.

“Their membership was approved and made official by RES4Africa’s Steering Committee, following a solid working relationship established between RES4Africa, CSIR and Nedbank over the past few months,” the organisation adds.

According to RES4Africa Foundation, South Africa is the largest electricity market in Africa; despite the successful initiation of a renewable energy transition, today South Africa’s power sector is experiencing some challenges.

“The country's economy is dependent on the extraction and export of coal, and its electricity demand has been weak and negatively influenced by frequent supply shortages, rising tariffs and lower economic growth. Moreover, its generation mix is based on increasingly older plants, which reduces the reliability of supply, while new generation capacity addition has been slow to materialise despite the approval of the 2019 Integrated Resource Plan that sets out a clear policy for the increased deployment of renewable energy sources. South Africa’s renewable resource wealth offers tremendous opportunities for clean and sustainable power generation, which is expected to play a key role in addressing the supply demand imbalance and supporting economic growth and prosperity in the region,” the organisation stated.

Salvatore Bernabei, President of the RES4Africa Foundation, said, “The challenges that South Africa’s power sector is experiencing offer the opportunity to scale up the deployment of renewable energy, which has the potential to ensure a more reliable and sustainable electricity service, at a fairer price. With its partners in South Africa, RES4Africa is carrying out a dedicated programme focused on the country’s energy transformation. We therefore gladly welcome CSIR and Nedbank as partners, a tangible result of the positive collaborations we’ve established over the past months”.

Through the dedicated programme, RES4Africa aims to offer its support to South Africa’s decarbonisation process.

The organisation lists the release of the publication A Just Energy Transition in South Africa (developed in collaboration with CSIR and ERM), an online event (which saw the participation of both CSIR and Nedbank as speakers), and the launch of AM-Powering Connexions, a series of monthly morning appointments addressed to the South African energy community, as key deliverables.

Clinton Carter-Brown, Head of the Energy Centre of CSIR, said: “As the largest science council on the African continent, and with a specific focus on the industrialisation and application of new technologies, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is pleased to join the RES4Africa Foundation. The CSIR's Energy centre is the leading energy research institute in the region, with the vision ‘To provide the knowledge base for the South African energy transition and beyond’. The CSIR looks forward to continuing to make its contribution in the transition to sustainable energy sources and to improve the access to clean and affordable energy and to achieve the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations. Sub-Saharan Africa presents substantial opportunities for the development and deployment of renewable energy solutions. The integration of the work of the CSIR Energy Centre and RES4Africa Foundation is hoped to have lasting positive impact on energy access, sustainability and equality.”

Amith Singh, Head of Energy Finance of Nedbank CIB, added, “As a bank committed to using our financial expertise to do good, we take seriously our commitment to helping to shape a better world through the realisation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs), particularly ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and renewable energy for all. To this end, we are honoured to become a member of the renewable energy value chain that seeks to address energy challenges facing the continent, using our collective muscle, and membership of this august network positions the bank to contribute to this vital development.”

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