Nairobi, October 24, 2012--IFC, a member
of the World Bank Group, is providing advisory services to the Department
of Energy of the Republic of South Africa, to help the government develop
a new national Electrification Roadmap that includes increased supply of
off-grid renewable energy. South Africa aims to achieve universal electrification
by 2025, which will require broadening the technology options that are
employed, and enhancing the planning and delivery processes applied by
A greater share of off-grid renewable energy in South Africa's electricity
mix will contribute positively to the country's national sustainability
agenda through its social and environmental benefits. More people will
have access to electricity, increasing productive hours for businesses
and school-going children.
IFC’s Africa Renewable Energy Advisory Services (AREAS) program, working
with the government and other key stakeholders, will open up more opportunities
for private sector involvement in non-grid renewable energy, to meet the
country’s universal electrification target. By March 2012, the government
of South Africa had electrified 76 percent of formal households, including
some 50,000 using rooftop solar home systems (SHS); this represents a significant
achievement given that electrification stood at below 40 percent in 1994.
However, some 3.4 million households remain without power.
Given the high cost of connecting sparsely populated remote communities
to the grid, there is broad consensus that high-quality off-grid solutions
will need to be part of the strategy going forward, and may account for
up to 10 percent of new connections. Moreover, there is need to reduce
the burden on government finances, where possible, by leveraging the private
sector in the delivery of systems.
"The government of South Africa, with IFC’s help, will seek to remove
barriers in the enabling environment that currently constrain private sector
participation in the off-grid space in particular,” said Wosley Barnard,
Deputy Director General of the South African Department of Energy. “Importantly,
this work also focuses on supporting the scale-up of viable business models
to serve rural communities. It is expected that IFC's business model intervention
will assist private sector players to access financing needed to set up
operations or expand their activities, as well as increase solar home systems
used by households."
"Universal electrification will allow poor households and communities
to improve their living standards and enable private sector businesses
in the renewable energy sector to grow,” said Sara Clancy, IFC Head of
Sustainability for Sub-Saharan Africa. “IFC brings extensive expertise
in supporting off-grid energy access, and has a strong understanding of
the range of solutions that South Africa can apply.”
Increasing access to services, mitigating climate change and increasing
access to finance by private sector firms are among IFC’s development
goals. Increasing access to power is central to IFC’s strategy for infrastructure
development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing
countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing
capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services
to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time
high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector
to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing
development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.