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SA initiative to grow renewables industry

South Africa will launch an ambitious project aimed at boosting its "green" economy and reducing the country's carbon footprint during the United Nations Climate Change Conference starting in Durban on 28 November.
The South African Renewables Initiative (SARi), set to be unveiled at the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, will seek to catalyse the growth of a "green" industry through the financing of large-scale renewable generation capacity.

"SARi presents a key element in ensuring that South Africa meets the emissions targets set by President Jacob Zuma who, at COP 15 in Copenhagen in 2009, committed South Africa to reducing its emissions trajectory to 34% below business as usual by 2020, and to 42% by 2025," Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said last week.

An integral part of South Africa's Industrial Policy Action Plan, SARi will help to develop capacity in related industries by designing a financial solution to encourage the roll-out of large-scale renewable generation capacity.

South Africa will be looking to use its international partnerships to help the country secure funding to enable an ambitious scale-up of renewables.

The launch of the initiative will be accompanied by the announcement of partnerships between the South African government and international governments and Development Finance Institutions to explore possibilities for further developing the renewables industry.

Davies said an initial design for a financing mechanism had been developed, which combined low-cost loans, insurance and other financial instruments with climate funding on a pay-for-performance basis.

"Success in the large-scale development of renewables could realise direct economic benefits of up to 40 000 jobs, contribute up to 15% of South Africa's Copenhagen Commitment, and decarbonise exports by up to 30% in increasingly carbon-sensitive international markets," Davies said.

Additional information:
News date: 03/11/2011

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