International relations

SA could tap into DRC hydro project

10 May 2012

South Africa may be able to tap into thousands of megawatts in renewable energy when the massive Inga hydro-electric project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) goes live.

The Department of Energy's chief director of clean energy, Mokgadi Modise, said a treaty that would make this possible, outlining the roles and responsibilities of the different actors, was being finalised.

Modise was speaking at a media briefing during the Africa-European Union Energy Partnership's first stakeholder forum in Cape Town on Wednesday.

Potentially largest project in the world

The Inga hydro-electric project on the Congo River could become the largest hydro-electric project in the world, and is expected to generate a massive 40 000MW of electricity - more than the current electricity generation in South Africa.

Modise said the South African negotiating team was being led by the Department of International Relations and Co-operation and included the Department of Public Enterprises, the Department of Energy and the National Treasury.

She said the project would help more South Africans access electricity while significantly boosting African regional integration.

Africa-EU Energy Partnership

According to the government's Integrated Resource Plan, a 20-year projection on electricity supply and demand, about 6% of electricity generated in the country will be required to come from hydro resources.

Modise added that the Finnish and Austrian governments were funding nine energy-efficiency and renewable energy projects in South Africa.

The Africa-EU Energy Partnership, created in 2007, is a partnership between business, government and civil society to find ways of meeting sustainable energy challenges on the continent. The partnership has 54 African and European members.

In Vienna in 2010, the partners signed a declaration setting out targets, to be met by 2020, for energy access, energy security, energy efficiency and the adoption of renewable energy.

The partnership's stakeholder forums - of which the Cape Town meeting is the first - are intended to enable members to explore ways of achieving these targets.

Source: BuaNews


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