26 February 2013

South Africa: SA, Germany Look to Energy Partnership

South Africa and Germany last week signed a memorandum of understanding to promote cooperation on energy issues and to partner on developing sustainable energy infrastructure.

The memorandum complements the declaration of intent for "South African-German cooperation in the area of energy and climate", signed in November 2010, as well as a partnership agreement struck with four European countries and the European Investment Bank in December 2011 to help fund the South African Renewables Initiative (SARI).

The former provides a strategic framework for South African-German development cooperation in the energy sector, while the latter seeks to support accelerated investment in the development of renewables in South Africa.

The energy partnership envisaged in last week's agreement aims to build on these existing agreements will providing a general framework for political dialogue and cooperation in the energy sector for both sides.

According to the Department of Energy, the partnership will focus on promoting renewable energies and energy efficiency, new carbon market instruments for financing investments in renewable energies and energy efficiency, and opportunities for cooperation in nuclear safety and security.

Under the partnership, the South African and German governments aim to strengthen their cooperation on capacity building, institutional arrangements, public awareness- raising, and staff training and exchanges.

They will also encourage German and South African companies to cooperate in exploring business opportunities in the field of renewable energy.

The department said both governments had taken note of recent advances in renewable energy technologies, the available renewable resources in South Africa, and the consequent opportunities for their widespread application.

They also recognized the need to foster environments that would enable increasing private sector involvement and stronger public-private partnerships in the field of renewable energy.

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