South Africa already benefits from many joint activities with international public partners in the energy field, including multilateral and bilateral loans, capacity building and catalytic programmes seeking to overcome barriers to renewables development.
To date, however, these activities have been largely bilateral, and they have not been integrative of energy, industrial and economic and climate policies. Neither have these partnerships been of a scale that can deliver a critical mass of renewables and the associated benefits.
The design analysis undertaken under the South African Renewables Initiative indicates that South Africa could initiate an ambitious ramp up of renewables at an acceptable cost to all parties. This requires coordinated and scaled- up funding, likely to blend both low cost loans and under financial risk mitigation instruments as well as pay-for- performance grants to offset part of the incremental cost.
The South African Renewables Initiative therefore brings together many of South Africa’s existing partners into a systematic and more ambitious partnership to drive renewables development in South Africa.
The role of the partnership will be to enable international collaboration between the Government South Africa, other governments and regional and international public bodies in order to:
- Design, establish and secure appropriate funding to catalyse renewable energy development as well as associated industrial development.
- Increase implementation of industrial, energy, climate-change and economic development policies domestically.
- Demonstrate and share learning from an innovative large-scale collaboration to mobilise investment into renewable energy technology and clean technology infrastructure to promote green growth.
- Permit public partnerships to leverage funding in a manner supports South Africa’s efforts to move towards a greener economy that offers sustainable social development and upliftment.
Mobilising and coordinating resources at scale will also depend on drawing in additional partners, beyond the initial founders, to contribute and invest.
The South African Government will involve all relevant ministries and institutions in the partnership. Key departments include the Department of Trade and Industry,the Department of Energy, the National Treasury, the Department of Public Enterprises, the Department of Environmental Affairs, the Department of Economic Development, the Department of Science and Industry, and The Presidency, as well as the Development Bank of South Africa and the Industrial Development Corporation.