Category: <span>Green Energy</span>

13 June 2022 Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Focuses on Renewable Energy

Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Focuses on Renewable Energy

For Immediate Release
13 June 2022

The fifth quarterly Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum was held virtually on in May 2022 and focused on renewable energy strategies for the Garden Route.

This follows a fruitful engagement Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) had with the Energy & Water Sector Education Training Authority  (EWSETA) on Tuesday, 17 May 2022.  During the engagement, EWSETA expressed its desire to support renewable energy projects in the Garden Route, which is in line with its support of Just Energy Transition (JET),  Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), and the work done in South Africa by The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA).

EWSETA has a significant demand-based focus, and it is important for them to determine what the needs are of employers and businesses. They receive a limited skills levy income and need to partner with other agencies to address this challenge. This is why they’ve agreed soon enter into a memorandum of understanding with GRDM.

During his opening remarks, the GRSM Forum chairperson, Ald. De Vries remarked that renewable energy is gaining momentum as countries around the world are increasingly understanding the benefits it offers.

During the forum, Mr. Warrick Pierce, Technical Leader on Energy Systems Modeling at the Energy Centre of CSIR, presented the Draft Municipal Electricity Master Plan for the GRDM. The Draft document was funded by GIZ and co-funded by the CSIR and is considered to be a mini Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

Mr. Pierce noted that the plan looks at different possible energy futures and the employment opportunities it may hold. Furthermore, the plan’s focus is twofold as it looks at each municipality individually in the region and the Garden Route as a whole to achieve optimisation.

To draft plan addresses issues of future demand usage and that municipalities need to know their customers – their past behaviors towards energy and how this is changing in terms of self-generation.  There seems to be clear indication that Solar PV is the priority option for the Garden Route to consider. The Draft Energy Master Plan will be tabled to the GRDM Council this month for adoption and a media release about it will be issued.

The final presentation was done by Kirsten Freimann, from GIZ, who is the Head of Project: Career Path Development for Employment (CPD4E), which is a new 3-year program that started in June.

The program aims to address two major concerns identified by GIZ, which are the economic recession and the high youth unemployment rate plaguing South Africa. With the help of the Swiss Development Agency, The German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Government was able to raise €10.5 million for the project.

CPDE4E strives to improve the employability of the youth by unlocking employment potentials by supporting entrepreneurship and SME development in township economies, as well as (ecologic) industrial parks.

The transition from learning to earning will be done by matching soft skills with entrepreneurship training with specific measures in place for girls and women.

Demand-driven TVET/ skills development will improve delivery capacities, through lecturers, in-company mentors, short skills programs, new occupational profiles, and curricula development. It is anticipated that it will strengthen private sector involvement in agile training interventions. This could lead to job creation and meeting demands.

18 August 2021 Media Release: Garden Route DM hosts successful Waste and Biomass Beneficiation Conference 

Media Release: Garden Route DM hosts successful Waste and Biomass Beneficiation Conference

For Immediate Release
18 August 2021

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Western Cape Economic Development Partnership and Climate Neutral Group, concluded a very successful Waste and Biomass Beneficiation Conference on 12 August 2021.

During his opening remarks, Ald. Memory Booysen said that he was confident that the GRDM would be setting the tone for the Garden Route to become the most resilient and progressive in the Western Cape and South Africa. Mayor Booysen stated that the GRDM regards energy remained a central part of what was being explored during the Conference. “Beneficiation is key for us to become sustainable – we already tick many of the boxes and we have the political will to carry it through,” he said.

During the Conference, it was evident that there is an appetite for developing waste and biomass beneficiation solutions and how it can benefit the Garden Route to form part of a new drive to go green with a selection of technologies. These technologies include alien invasive plants (AIPs) and general waste as a resource. Some applications discussed during the Conference included the manufacturing of syngas or ethanol, to produce Black Pellets or carbon-rich material produced during a pyrolysis process for agricultural use, generating energy (electricity) and many other applications.

Twenty-four (24) industry experts presented their topics under the following main conference themes:

  • The Waste and Biomass situation in the Garden Route and Western Cape
  • Completing the value chain — keeping the Cluster sustainable and looking after the environment
  • Logistics and infrastructure
  • Turning Waste and Biomass into Value
  • Finance and Development options

The Conference covered a wide variety of topics to assist technology and solution providers with access to all the essential facts and numbers needed to build a true business development project, based on tangible collaboration opportunities in a potential Waste Beneficiation Cluster or precinct. Close to 180 delegates (including presenters and organisers) attended the Conference with representation from the Private Sector, Government, Investors, NPOs and Academia.

During his closing remarks and unpacking of the steps to follow the Conference, GRDM Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu thanked the organisers and said: “We invite all stakeholders to participate in formulating a strategic framework and action plan for the invasive biomass economy in South Africa and more specifically the Garden Route.” Stratu also stated that the development of a new brand of Small-, Medium and Micro Enterprises would be a critical component to ensure that the biomass value chain of the region is elevated beyond the supply and demand towards a restorative economic model.

The GRDM and its partners are keenly looking forward to taking the next steps forward to find solutions to minimise waste and maximise value.

Download all presentations here.

View the conference:

ENDS

Garden Route Municipality hosts 6th Green Energy Forum

The 6th Garden Route Green Energy Forum was recently held at the Council Chambers of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) with representatives from municipalities in the Garden Route district, as well as relevant stakeholders in attendance.

(FLTR) Mr Passmore Dongi, Project Manager and Chairperson of the Green Energy Forum at GRDM, Ms Tando Gauzela, Secretariat of the Green Energy Forum and Mr Herald Basson, Director: Technical Services at Hessequa Municipality, during the Forum.

During these meetings, green energy opportunities are continuously identified and the realities of green energy in the district discussed. When the GRDM Communication Unit conducted an interview with chairperson of the forum, Mr Passmore Dongi, Project Manager of GRDM, it became evident that the aim of the forum fits into the bigger picture – to reach two of seventeen sustainable development goals of the United Nations, which are: Goal 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy; as well as Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth.  Mr Dongi stated:  “These two goals are interconnected, as we want to use green energy to drive employment creation through this green energy initiative and bring sustainable growth”.

GRDM path to a more sustainable energy future

 In the 1st State of the District Address delivered by the Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory

Booysen, on 12 April 2019, Mayor Booysen emphasised our collective future – in particular, about the challenges we face in developing a secure, more resilient and sustainable energy system in the Garden Route region. In light of this, Mayor Booysen added that the GRDM Economic Development and Planning Department is doing a scenario approach to energy as the driver of the local economy.  “The scenarios cannot predict the future, but they can give us the tools to anticipate what could happen. In other words, they deepen our strategic thinking,” he said.

Mayor Booysen continued by saying that when looking at the future energy challenge and in aligning our functions and mandates, as stated in Section 84 of the Municipal Structures Act, we believe that three actions should be taken now to get us firmly on the road towards a more sustainable energy system:

  • “Firstly, we need to take advantage of the region’s abundant solar, wave and wind resources;
  • Secondly, we want to support development of renewable energy technology and local manufacturing of components and storage technology to complement the reliability of renewable energy and this will be coupled with human capacity development more especially youth and women; and
  • Thirdly, we need to promote smarter urban planning to reduce energy demand, especially in transportation e.g. manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (EV) in the region and conversion of waste to energy”.

Mayor Booysen added that around the world, we have already seen realistic energy policies put in place to prepare for a future in which energy demand will rise. “Therefore the GRDM is taking a pro-active role to address issues of energy and as such – we are the only District Municipality to:

  • held the green energy summit in 2018,
  • launched a Green Energy Forum,
  • currently develop a comprehensive Renewable Energy Master Plan,
  • currently participate in the Small Systems Embedded Generation (SSEG) programme”.

“This goes on to show how much the district value and prioritise renewable energy as the future of the region. The country faces an incredible challenge to meet our future energy demand, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and manage the stresses on our water and food resources,” he added.

Mayor Booysen continued by stating that the GRDM believes governments and industry can take far-sighted actions now that will reap benefits for decades to come. “These actions include taking advantage of the region’s abundant natural resources, localised manufacturing and storage technology, and focusing on smarter urban planning. The District would also like to leverage some of its properties to support this goal of energy sustainability in the region that will, in turn, promote socio-economic development. We therefore remain committed to working with all the stakeholders to realise the region’s ambitious energy objectives of energy driven regional economy, energy driven job creation and energy driven livelihoods”.

Mr Dongi also referred to the various green energy projects that are already up and running or are still in progress, such as the solar park behind the GRDM head-office, the George Municipality that is busy with a process to put up solar panels on their civic centre and also Witsand, near Riversdale, that has a desalination plant powered by solar.  Mr Dongi furthermore made mention about the solar farm that will be built in Oudtshoorn.

“We intend to place much thought into wind energy, biogas, wave energy – as combination of various forms of renewable energy,” he said.

In saying this, Mr Dongi emphasized the diversity and unique characteristics of the Garden Route and how the respective areas in the district can contribute to renewable energy. He made an example of what areas would be most suitable to unlock specific green energy opportunities, e.g. Oudtshoorn and Kannaland areas have the potential for solar energy, due to their long hours of sun, the climate and high temperatures, the coastline has the potential for wave energy and wind, to name a few.

Through all these initiatives, we aim to become a pioneer that will drive the Garden Route nationally as the first district that is going green,” Mr Dongi concluded.

 

 

The District would like to encourage all citizens of this region to register their solar systems with the municipality’s SSEG programme.

The next forum meeting is envisaged to take in October 2019.

Green Energy Forum held to discuss potential Green Energy projects

Garden Route District Municipality, on 30 August 2018, hosted a Garden Route Green Energy Forum at its Disaster Management Centre in George. Representatives from the Garden Route District and George Municipalities, the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE), MTO Forestry and Latts University situated in France, attended the meeting.

The main aim of the discussions was to pursue Green Energy projects that would be in the interest of the residents of the Garden Route. These discussions stemmed from the resolutions taken at the Garden Route Green Energy Summit which took place on 11 and 12 April 2018 under at Fancourt in George. This two-day Summit has unpacked potential areas of alternative energy opportunities, which would see the fruition of an instrumental, collaborative, partnership-driven, green and cleaner environment.

Members of the Green Energy Forum who attended the meeting held at the Garden Route District Municipality on 30 August 2018.

At the Green Energy Forum, Mr Johan Dekker from MTO and Mr Pierre Conradie from CMB Engineering made presentations in respect of the Small Scale Embedded Generation Plant, where after SAIEE Southern Cape Centre extended an invitation to the Forum, to visit the MTO Forestry’s 999kVA Steam Turbine Electricity Generation Plant – the biggest Small Scale Embedded Generation Plant in George. The purpose of the site visit was to explore and witness the capacity and operations of the plant for the Forum members to familiarise themselves with relevant information for informed decision making.

The Forum was coordinated by Mr Jason Shaffler from SA-LED in the absence for Mr Gerhard Otto, GRDM Manager, Disaster Management, and is foreseen to be convened on a quarterly basis to discuss progress made towards achieving the resolutions taken at the Green Energy Summit.