GreenCape, a local non-profit organisation established by the Western Cape Government, has been named a finalist in the S&P Global Platts Global Energy Awards for 2018.

The organisation was nominated for the Grid Edge Award, contending with 14 other international finalists. The awards, established 20 years ago, recognise energy industry leaders and innovators across 18 categories.

Winners of the awards will be announced in a formal ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on December 6.

The Grid Edge Award acknowledges innovators working to support progress towards improved future energy systems.

GreenCape was recognised for its Smart Grids project, which focuses on encouraging local municipalities to implement small-scale green energy systems such as solar PV and wind farms.

Minister of Economic Opportunities, Beverley Schäfer comments on the significance of a local company being nominated for the Grid Edge Award.

“The work done by GreenCape and the Energy Security Game Changer has made the Western Cape a leader in the rollout of a supportive regulatory environment for solar PV … Being nominated in these awards [alongside] companies, organisations and individuals from 37 countries is a major honour and recognition of the cutting-edge work being done in the Western Cape,” Schäfer says.

The Smart Grid project identifies seven measures that can be taken to enable municipalities to move towards small scale energy sources by providing necessary technical knowledge, skills development and policy certainty to the private sector.

CEO of GreenCape , Mike Mulcahy provides insight into the impact of the Smart Grid project.

“Our energy team has worked hard to create an enabling environment for distribution utilities, like municipalities, to successfully and sustainably transition to renewables. Because of their support to various levels of government, for instance, 25% of South Africa’s municipalities have the regulations and tariffs in place to allow customers to feed clean energy into the grid,” he says.

For the past two years, GreenCape has been implementing these measures, and for the first time in South African history 88% of Western Cape municipalities are allowing small-scale renewable energy systems and the purchase of excess energy.

Schäfer explains the importance of implementing alternative energy resources in the country.

“Renewable energy is no longer a disrupter, but a catalyst for driving universal energy access, environmental sustainability and economic growth. With Eskom currently instituting rolling blackouts again, it is imperative that as a province we are able to diversify our energy sources in order to support economic growth,” she says.

Mulcahy adds that South Africa is transitioning to decentralised systems, with electricity being generated by independent producers.

“South Africa is slowly following suit, with [a] world-class Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPPPP), and … the latest draft of the Integrated Resource Plan, which sees a future energy mix that will be dominated by renewable energy produced by independent producers,” he says.

Cape Town continues to hold a top spot in renewable and green energy innovation.





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