SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency launched

24 Oct 2018 18:00pm
WINDHOEK, 24 OCT (NAMPA) – The establishment of the Southern African Development Community Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) comes at a time when there is diminishing electricity generation capacity in the SADC Region.
This was said by Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo on Wednesday at the centre’s official launch, which was attended by ministers of energy and senior energy officials from all SADC member states.
SACREEE is a SADC subsidiary mandated to contribute to increased access to modern energy services and improved energy security across the region through the promotion of market-based adoption of renewable energy, energy efficient technologies and energy services in all member states.
The subsidiary was endorsed during the 35th meeting of SADC Council of Ministers responsible for energy in 2015.
In his statement availed to the media, Alweendo said a number of reasons have been given for the diminishing electricity generation capacity.
“I must, however, emphasise that the aspect of sustainability is not sufficiently considered when planning for the future,” the minister said.
Alweendo said the over-reliance on fossil fuels, which are finite, and traditional biomass has been the status quo for many countries.
“Whilst the region’s population is growing at a fast rate, fossil fuels are not going to sustain the region since they are not renewable.”
Nuclear energy, despite its limited greenhouse effects, is also not a viable solution due to its high capital costs and the waste disposal which has to be carefully handled.
“Conserving our resources wisely will ensure that energy is available on demand for all our citizens without compromising the ability of future generations to use them.”
Alweendo further said the region’s energy generation capacity can be sustainable, but this would require commitment through new, smart, ambitious and effective approaches.
“SADC’s renewable energy resources are huge and underutilised. I believe therefore that the establishment of SACREEE will unlock this potential by providing business focussed guidance on the regional market opportunities and risks.”
The minister stated that economies throughout the region need to be provided with tools, models and lessons learned to transform and strengthen their energy sectors.
Alweendo urged the member states to support the centre, saying no SADC institution will be relevant and deliver the much needed services to the public if it does not get the support to carry out its functions in a sustainable manner.