Despite an array of challenges ranging from labour volatility, a weakened currency and unpredictable policy, South Africa continues to lure international investment to its various renewable-energy projects, global solar group Talesun Energy VP Arthur Chien has asserted.
“Foreign investment has helped the country achieve top status [with] renewable-energy investors [from] countries such as China, the US, Germany and Japan.
“The vast amount of natural resources available in South Africa, the country’s severe energy shortage and the implementation of initiatives, such as the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), are key reasons why international investors are showing continued interest in renewable-energy investments in the country,” he outlined in a statement.
This assertion was supported by professional services firm EY’s ‘Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index’, which named South Africa the seventeenth most attractive destination for foreign investment in renewable energy.
Chien added that, once all REIPPPP-related projects were functional, over R100-billion worth of foreign and local investments would have been injected into 64 projects, adding about 3 900 MW of wind, solar photovoltaic and concentrating solar power to South Africa's energy mix.
“Further, it has been said that the recently completed De Aar solar power and Droogfontein solar power projects – both of which fell within the REIPPPP – have attracted over R120-billion so far, much of which can be attributed to direct foreign investment.
“These investments are highly beneficial, as investors bring with them a wealth of skills, experience and money, all of which are needed to help develop the renewable-energy sector in South Africa which is still [in] its infancy stages and set to flourish in the coming years,” he commented.