South Africa: Joint Declaration of Intent Between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Federal Government of the Federal Republic of Germany On the Establishment of an Energy Partnership

press release

The Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Federal Government of the Federal Republic of Germany (hereinafter jointly referred to as the "Sides" and in the singular as "a Side") signed a memorandum of understanding on their wish to further promote friendship and cooperation between South Africa and Germany.

The Sides said that they are determined to enhance the bilateral dialogue and practical cooperation between them in the energy sector by establishing an energy partnership, which builds on and further enhances the on-going successful cooperation programmes and dialogue between them in the energy sector.

The main objective of the energy partnership is improving and developing a sustainable energy infrastructure, in particular through the increased use of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Both Sides acknowledge activities under various existing bilateral and multilateral dialogues and take note of the recent advancement in renewable energy efficiency technologies, the available renewable energy resources in South Africa and the consequent opportunities for their widespread applications.

They recognise that the creation of appropriate market environments for the increasing role of private sector involvement, along with an enabling framework for strong public-private partnerships, is very important for successful commercial applications and for the long term availability of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

The energy partnership complements the existing Declarations of Intent for the "South African - German Cooperation in the Area of Energy and Climate" (November 2010) as well as the "South African Renewables Initiative (SARI)". The Declaration of Intent on the "South African - German Cooperation in the Area of Energy and Climate" sets out the specific areas of cooperation, goals of joint activities, and competent authorities.

The Declaration of Intent also provides the strategic framework for South African - German Development Cooperation in the energy sector. The SARI International Partnership has been established collaboratively to support the accelerated scale up of investment for the development of renewables in South Africa.

The energy partnership will inter alia build upon these Declarations of Intent and will provide a general framework for political dialogue and cooperation in the energy sector for both Sides. Thus, the two Sides have come to the following understanding:

They underline their shared objective to guarantee the secure and sustainable supply and utilisation of energy also in the light of international climate protection efforts.

The Sides further recognise the importance of science and technology in promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency, and underline the importance of and aim to strengthen international cooperation on energy research and development. Therefore, the Sides intend to intensify their cooperation on the promotion of sustainable and efficient services, especially renewable energies and energy efficiency.

The Sides will continue with their existing cooperation programmes and projects on energy. These programmes and projects will continue to be coordinated by the respective competent authorities. The Sides will engage in dialogue on energy policies and on the coherence of cooperation programmes, monitor the results of cooperation efforts and prepare joint reports for the Ministers.

The Sides will focus on the following areas:

(a) renewable energies (such as hydro-power, wind power, solar photovoltaic, solar thermal energy, geothermal energy, hydrogen) and their use in the generation of electricity and heat and for transportation;

(b) the promotion of energy efficiency;

(c) the promotion of new and upscaled carbon market instruments for financing investments in the field of renewable energies and energy efficiency;

(d) opportunities for cooperation in the field of nuclear safety and security;

(e) criteria for sustainability and environmental integrity of project activities: legal framework, applied policies, measures and instruments - including economic instruments -, and suitable financing models for promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency;

(f) technological cooperation in the field of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS);

(g) capacity building and skills development in the green technology sector; and

(h) R&D cooperation in the above areas where appropriate.

The Sides will strengthen their cooperation on capacity building, institutional arrangements, including public awareness-raising, personnel exchange and training. The Sides will encourage private sector companies to cooperate closely and to explore further business opportunities. The Sides accept the adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights, in accordance with World Trade Organisation regulations and national and international laws, which stem from the activities carried out in implementation of this Joint Declaration of Intent.

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