Renewable industry bodies partner to develop local skills

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Two of the renewable sector’s leading representative voices – the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) and the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) – have come together to launch a programme to drive change, enhance the local skills base and ensure SA reaps the full benefits of a decarbonised economy.

Niveshen Govender, SAPVIA COO, explains: “Historically, we have relied on much-needed foreign investment and know-how, but the time has come for South Africans to step up and step into the role of developer.

“We have so much to gain by empowering local communities and upskilling individuals across the renewable energy value chain.”

The Developing Developers programme, which launched last week with more than 600 participants in attendance, is designed to address the gaps in the local industry and ensure effective knowledge-sharing across the value chain of SA’s nascent renewables sector.

“We have set ambitious targets for the growth of renewables, with wind and solar PV set to take precedence in the low-carbon and renewable economy. The potential for South Africa is unprecedented, not least the potential financial rewards that could be reaped on both an individual and collective level,” says SAWEA CEO Ntombifuthi Ntuli.

SAWEA and SAPVIA want to ensure that local developers, current or potential, can access the knowledge and expertise needed to take projects from development through due diligence, financial close, right up to commissioning.

“The Developing Developers series will be the first of our initiatives to drive effective change and build local competence to a global standard so we can develop world-leading projects that will deliver the energy security and supply we desperately need,” adds Govender.

SAWEA represents the interests of over 100 members that are invested in the South African wind power value chain, while SAPVIA is the representative voice for more than 370 companies in the solar PV industry in SA.

The two organisations have partnered with the Independent Power Producer Office, the Renewable Energy Entrepreneurs Forum and the Black Energy Professionals Association to present a seven-part series of workshops to address key areas that aspiring developers need to understand if they want to succeed.

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