ABN - Businesses have to be the driving force behind the renewable energy revolution in South Africa according to juwi Renewable Energies MD
With South Africa facing a constrained electricity supply, Austin is calling for business to commit to sustainability and deploy embedded renewable energy generators at industrial sites.
He said: “Renewable energy is mostly cheaper than other forms of energy, is deployed quickly and we’re really at an inflection point with respect to the market mechanisms that are available for industry to deploy renewable energy opportunities, including PPAs (as per REIPP), self-consumption or embedded generation.”
Austin added that companies need to commit to sustainability through the supply chain and ensure their buildings, their suppliers, their businesses and manufacturing processes are green.
“Big business can contribute to sustainability in South Africa by, for example, procurement – don’t talk green, buy green.”
While sustainability is often seen as energy conservation and reducing the use of fossil fuels, Austin appealed to businesses to do much more in this area.
“Business and business leadership needs to act in a way that minimises human impact on the environment; perform full-cost accounting; and develop the culture of environmental ethical decision making.”
Austin said there is a major motor manufacturing company pioneering this idea - the company’s vision is to achieve a completely carbon neutral energy supply. By 2020, it plans to reduce energy consumption per vehicle produced by 45 per cent from 2006 levels.
South Africa’s biggest problem in moving towards energy sustainability is the fact it is constrained by a shortage of electricity and the country faces pressure from two sides: rising electricity costs and the lack of energy security from traditional sources.