In an article in Engineering News, “IDC seeks to replicate old economy successes in ‘green’ industries”, 5 August, 2011, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies and Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) CEO Geoffrey Qhena describe the prospects for growth and employment creation through the green economy.
“For us, the green economy is the next big driver, ” declared Mr. Qhena, noting that the IDC had set aside 25% (R22.4-billion) of its R102-billion budget for the next five years for green investments in green economy projects and enterprises.The group’s new green industries business unit has been created specifically to facilitate new projects, as well as to canvass existing opportunities in the green-economy milieu where Quena expects the next big prospects and enterprises to arise – “hopefully to eventually rival IDC holdings in companies such as Sasol, Kumba Iron Ore, BHP Billiton, ArcelorMittal South Africa and unlisted Foskor” Green industry components could also benefit from the R20.8-billion set aside for the support of manufacturing activities.
Mr Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry, noted that the South African Renewables Initiative was established to catalyse the potential industrial benefits from a large-scale renewables roll-out: “The idea is to facilitate a 23-GW renewables deployment, which would provide the economies required for large-scale domestic manufacturing of systems and components.”
“In order for us to do that without a huge imposition on the electricity tariff, we need to access international finance sources, both in the form of loans at low rates and also some of the climate change facilities . . . to come up with a blend of financing instruments to lower the overall costs.” It is possible that the IDC will be the conduit through which these competitively priced instruments could flow.
Minister Davies met with German and European Investment Bank officials in a bid to firm up these partnerships, which could be announced in the run up to the 17th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will take place in Durban from November 28 to December 9.
Providing the impetus for the Green Economy is the New Growth Path (NGP) and the Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap), where the Government has calculated that there is potential to generate 300 000 additional direct jobs in the green economy by 2020, with 80 000 of those in manufacturing and the balance in construction. This is calibrated with the integrated resource plan for electricity, which was promulgated in April, and which calls for the addition of 17.8 GW of new renewable energy capacity by 2030.