Friday, 25 February

Dear <<First Name>>

At COP26 countries around the world made pledges to reduce CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050. And now, several months later, South Africa is finally expected to join the fold.

They’re a little late to the party, but if they take considered action, generate adequate financing and receive international support, then the country could still achieve net zero targets.

Currently a mammoth 80% of the country’s local power comes from coal-powered plants, and less than 6% from renewables respectively. It is estimated that South Africa would need to deploy 150GW of wind and solar by 2050 to reach net zero – almost a fourfold increase on its current total coal power capacity.

In a recent statement, the South African President acknowledged that, unless the country takes steps towards a more sustainable energy system, “we are likely to find that the products we export to various countries face trade barriers" as modern international consumers could be less willing to buy the country’s products – stunting the country’s economy.

And he’s right, ethical and sustainability issues are a key driver for almost a third of consumers and I have no doubt that this figure will only increase over time.

Coal has an outdated reputation for being affordable and plentiful, but in today’s landscape it is neither. TransitionZero analysis indicates that in 2021 new renewables investment was not only cheaper than its coal counterpart, but that it was ‘cheaper to build new renewable energy capacity than continue to operate coal plants’.

It seems South Africa is beginning to understand that the deployment of renewable energy can - and will – decarbonise the sector, stimulate the economy and generate employment opportunities. Put simply - it is cheaper, cleaner and smarter.


Geoff Sinclair

Managing Director, Camco Clean Energy

Story of the week
Africa50 and AfDB partner to raise USD500 million to support the continent's energy transition. The initiative is supported by the African Union Commission and the African Union Development Agency.

West Africa

Niger: Six IPPs battle for Gorou Banda solar plant contract (Afrik21)
- The companies have been selected for pre-qualification by the Niger government for the design, financing and construction of the 50MWp plant.

Nigeria: UK plans to boost green investments (Reuters)
-  The UK will provide GBP10 million to finance renewable energy and climate change projects in the country.

East Africa

Ethiopia: Giant Nile hydropower plant begins commercial operation (Reuters)
- The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has turned its turbines on as part of the project's first phase.

Kenya: JinkoSolar launches solar PV panel to boost electrification (AFSIASolar)
- The company has announced its latest Tiger Neo panel, which has a capacity of up to 620MW. 

Southern Africa

South Africa: Magnora acquires 92% of Africa Green Ventures (AfricanReview)
- This acquisition doubles Magnora’s South African project portfolio to 1.7GW.

South Africa: UNIDO and Flanders partner to accelerate green transition (AfricanBusiness)
- The Flemish Region of Belgium has committed EUR2.4 million to the project, which aims to strengthen the country’s adaptation capacity for a green and resilient economy.

Zimbabwe: Geogenix to build power plant at Pomona landfill (Afrik21)
- The company will build an EPC power facility near the site, which could generate up to 22MW. 

Africa - other

Africa: Africa50 and AfDB form alliance for green infrastructure (AllAfrica)
- The alliance aims to raise USD500 million to help realise the continent’s net zero objectives and achieve scale in greener infrastructure project development.

Africa: AfDB approves Desert to Power G5 Sahel Financing Facility (ESI)
- The USD379 million initiative aims to help five Sahel countries to adopt a low-emissions power generation pathway by using the region’s abundant solar potential.

Rest of the world

Climate change: New IPCC report to be published on 28 February (BBC)
- The report is likely to be the most worrying assessment yet of how rising temperatures affect all living things.

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