By Liz McDaid
South Africa is the sixth country, and the first in Africa, to host the International Renewable Energy Conference (IREC). Convened by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), IREC is a high-level political conference series hosted by a national government. The Conference is bringing together civil society, government and the private sector and is looking to power Africa through renewables, with the theme being ‘Re-energising Africa’.
Mr. Arthouros Zervos, Chair of the REN21, opened the conference. Africa is typically considered the dark continent but when it comes to renewable energy, Africa offers the highest potential and the rest of the world is looking to this continent to deliver.
Renewables present our best hope to provide affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for African countries. The opening speakers spoke about the scale and rapidity of renewable energy increasing globally. Energy is also the sustainable development goal 7. There was much discussion about the potential of renewable energy in addressing climate change .
Renewable energy should be focused on accessibility rather than return on profits.
Energy Minister says that renewable programme has brought highest investment to South Africa in 5 years.
According to the session on renewable energy regulation, the future is renewables.