Valerie Geen, Board Member of the Southern African Energy Efficiency (SAEE) organization opened the 11th annual congress, at Emperors Palace on Tuesday 8 November. The theme for this year’s congress was “Keen on Green”.
In addition to welcoming participants, Geen called on the outgoing President, Mr. Karel Steyn to give the opening address. Steyn, referring to the Carbon Tax, scheduled to start on Jan 1 of 2017 reminded the delegates that without energy management any organization or company would not be in a position to reduce their carbon footprint. Energy management is key in identifying the baseline and base year of carbon emissions and by implication their tax liability.
The delays to the Medupi and Kusile power stations coming on stream, the un-certainty around the REIPPP program as well as slow economic growth and the pending Carbon Tax were all listed as challenges to the energy efficiency sector by Kevin Nassiep, the CEO for SANEDI.
He added, that it is in these challenging times, and at Congresses such as this that opportunities can be debated –over 200 countries, will be meeting in Paris in December to work on the nuts and bolts of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Whilst the economic slow down has meant less requirement for energy, South Africa is still 14th in the world in terms of carbon emissions but 25th in terms of energy efficiency so there is still much work to be done in this field according to Nassiep.