South Africa reaffirmed its commitment and contribution towards global climate change goals at the recent Clean Energy Ministerial Conference in China.
The conference provided a global platform to discuss energy objectives and share international best practices in the industry.
The Department of Energy said it was keen to learn about global best practices that would help the country meet its energy objectives. Some of these included improving energy security, creating jobs, localising energy technologies, increasing energy access, reducing water consumption, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving energy efficiency and diversifying the energy mix.
Energy minister Mmamoloko Kubayi attended the conference on behalf of South Africa, which brought together delegates from 25 other countries.
Issues pertaining to initiatives and project experiences in the renewable energy sector were discussed, as well as energy efficiency in line with efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ways to make the transition to a low carbon economy.
BRICS ministerial meeting
Running concurrently to the conference was the BRICS energy ministers meeting which Kubayi attended.
The ministers discussed their views on clean and renewable energy, the research and development of new technologies, and the role played by energy efficiency in driving sustainable development to create new economic growth and reduce energy costs.
It was said that the ministers agreed to explore the feasibility of establishing a BRICS Energy Research Cooperation Platform.
The next BRICS Energy Ministerial Meeting will be held in South Africa in 2018.
Regarding nuclear, Kubayi met with head delegates from nuclear vendor countries such as France, China and Russia. The department said these countries offered their expertise on matters concerning broader nuclear collaboration.
While South Africa’s nuclear plans are currently on hold, pending proper procedures and channels are followed regarding research and procurement, the energy department still has plans to introduce 9,600 megawatts of nuclear energy onto the grid in the next decade.
Despite funding for the new nuclear programme also being a major concern, government maintains that future nuclear plans will be implemented on a scale that the economy and fiscus can afford.