Qatar lauds SA on renewable energy policy

Pretoria- South Africa’s renewable energy policy was lauded at the business forum between South Africa and Qatar on Wednesday.

South Africa’s renewable power policy is impressive and ambitious. I commend the policy for not only the ambition but the credibility that lies behind it. I admire South Africans and the mention of natural gas in the renewable energy policy even though natural gas is not a renewable energy source, Fahd Al Kuwari told SAnews on the sidelines of the meeting held in Pretoria.

Al Kuwari is a senior energy policy analyst at the Qatari Ministry of Energy. The policy analyst formed part of the Qatari delegation that is in South Africa on a two day State Visit.

President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday hosted the Emir of the State of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, The Emir is on a two-day state visit to South Africa

South Africa’s National Development Plan has stressed the importance of a greater mix of energy sources and a greater diversity of independent power producers (IPPs) in South Africa’s energy mix.

This has been made a reality through the Department of Energy’s Renewable Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPP).

The renewables programme, which is seen as an example for other African countries, has resulted in over 6 000 MW of generation capacity being allocated to bidders across a variety of technologies, principally in wind and solar.

In November 2016, power utility Eskom said it had spent approximately R9.5 billion in IPP renewable energy, while some 2 000 megawatts is already connected to the grid.

REIPPP is aimed at bringing additional megawatts onto the country’s electricity system through private sector investment in wind, biomass and small hydro, among others.

You have diversified your energy supply, you’ve diversified the electricity grid and you’ve managed to maintain a sense of environmental consciousness by allowing private companies to enter the market and distribute renewable energy. From a Gulf perspective, from an energy perspective I commend South Africa for what it has achieved, said Al Kawari.

Qatar, which established diplomatic relations with South Africa formally on 10 May 1994, has massive oil and gas reserves. The country is looking to deepen its relations with South Africa.

Al Kuwari stressed that natural gas and renewable energy go together.

What we can learn from South Africa is how to distribute and effectively diversify our energy supply especially in electricity generation. What South Africa can benefit from Qatar is that we are the largest natural gas exporter in the world.”

Meanwhile, Acting Head of Invest SA, Yunus Hoosen, said the business forum was a success.

We charted a way forward where some of our policies were highlighted for example the renewable energy policy, he said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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