Renewable Energy- An Enterprise Development Initiative
RENEWABLE ENERGY ELECTRIFICATION IN RURAL HOMES - THE NEED
The government has made it a high national priority to bring electricity to rural areas, recognizing that this basic service can unlock many education, health, business, and agriculture opportunities, which in turn can help combat poverty. Attempts thus far have fallen short of expectations, given the cost of connecting rural areas to the national grid is too high, and power generating capacity is already stretched too thinly to meet current and projected demand.
This initiative is run in conjunction with Iskhus Power, The Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management and TIG (Technology Innovation Group in Texas). The initiative aims to continue the work already started by various renewable energy concessionaires – who have to date ensured the electrification of 25 000 rural homes and to replicate the model in other provinces.
Da Vinci SEED and its partners will bring alternative power generation capacity to rural areas in South Africa. There are three key elements to this approach:
- Rather than connect rural areas to the national grid, the initiative will deploy low cost installations of renewable electricity generation, such as solar panels, that can power a home, school, or business. This is a proven approach, and there are several examples of residential solar panel projects that have been installed in South Africa by regional companies and international non-governmental organisations;
- To date, however, no larger scale endeavors have been made using a systemic approach for creating sustainable revenue sources. Da Vinci SEED has created a sustainable business model that is based on socio-economic and enterprise development mandates and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs); and
- As part of this initiative, the consortium will ensure the proper infrastructure is put in place for ongoing support for these efforts. Specifically, the consortium will:
- Create new mechanisms devoted to rural electrification
- Establish sustainable funding mechanisms
- Create regional BEE energy businesses
- Provide governance, management, and technical training to those businesses
- Source new alternative energy technologies
- Grow the market for Renewable Energy Certificates
- Subsidise the cost of electricity to homes through the sale of RECs
Our contribution will go towards the electrification of more homes or to the setup of additional BEREE’s in other provinces
BENEFITS TO YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE BEREE INITIATIVE
Studies have shown that there are linkages between increased quality of life and access to energy services. Modest increases in electricity or lighting services are associated with much larger improvements in human development. There is also a positive correlation between increased access to energy and rises in annual household income-level. In addition two of the greatest benefits of illumination- lighting for education and extension of productive time- are correlated with increased gender equality and opportunities for women and children. Apart from households, evidence suggests that access to modern, clean and affordable lighting is one of the key development challenges for entrepreneurs and businesses who have difficulty operating after dark.