GreenCape has been named a finalist in the Grid Edge category for the 2018 S&P Global Platts Global Energy Awards. GreenCape is a non-profit organisation established by the Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town to drive the development of the green economy.

The awards, now in their 20th year, recognise industry leaders and innovators in 18 categories across the entire energy spectrum. The winners will be announced at a black-tie celebration in New York tomorrow.

Cutting edge is the norm

The Grid Edge Awards honour innovators who are working to support progress towards a cutting-edge, improved future energy system. GreenCape’s Smart Grids project was shortlisted as a finalist because of the work done to create an enabling environment for local municipalities to introduce small-scale embedded generation such as solar PV and small-scale wind farms.

The Smart Grids system identified seven levers that would enable municipalities to transition to small-scale energy, including providing the technical knowledge required, skills development and policy certainty for the private sector.

Over the past two years, GreenCape has been delivering on these levers in the Western Cape. For the first time in South African history, 88% of local Western Cape municipalities now allow small-scale embedded generation and the purchase of excess energy.

A catalyst for universal access

Minister Schafer said: “Renewable energy is no longer a disrupter, but a catalyst for driving universal energy access, environmental sustainability and economic growth. With Eskom currently instituting rolling blackouts again, it is imperative that as a province, we are able to diversify our energy sources in order to support economic growth.”

“The work done by GreenCape and the Energy Security Game Changer has made the Western Cape a leader in the roll-out of a supportive regulatory environment for solar PV across municipalities. Being nominated for these awards with companies, organisations and individuals from 37 countries, is a major honour and recognises the cutting edge work being done in the Western Cape,” she said.

CEO of GreenCape, Mike Mulcahy, said: “Around the world, economies with centralised energy generation and distribution systems are transitioning to decentralised systems, where electricity is generated by independent producers. South Africa is slowly following suit, with our world-class Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPPPP), and with the latest draft of the Integrated Resource Plan which sees a future energy mix that will be dominated by renewable energy produced by independent producers.”

“Our energy team has worked hard to create an enabling environment for distribution utilities such as municipalities, to successfully and sustainably transition to renewables. Because of their support to various levels of government, for instance, 25% of South Africa’s municipalities have the regulations and tariffs in place to allow customers to feed clean energy into the grid.

“These and other strides made to date, mean that South Africa is well on its way to put in place the mechanisms needed to move away from a coal-based economy to a greener, cleaner one,” he said. – Press release