There are billions of rand worth of opportunities for green economy investors in South Africa. These opportunities are highlighted in the annual GreenCape flagship market intelligence reports (MIRs).

What are the MIRs?

The 2019 MIRs, which were funded by the Western Cape provincial government’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism, were released by GreenCape this month. The reports are written for investors and businesses, both local and international, who are currently active or interested in green economy sectors in the Western Cape and South Africa. The reader-friendly reports can be downloaded for free and are available online.

According to Beverley Schäfer, minister of Economic Opportunities for the Western Cape provincial government: “The Western Cape Government has prioritised the green economy by creating the enabling context. Through partners like GreenCape we have proactively reduced red tape. We have worked to unlock new markets for green tech and provided accurate market intelligence to attract investment to the green sector in the Western Cape.

“The Atlantis green tech SEZ, launched in December last year after the cumulative impact of many years of work, is an extremely attractive option for investors and manufacturers of green tech. This cements the Western Cape as Africa’s green economy home. The 2019 MIRs help us sharpen the focus on the type of investments that will lead to economic growth and the creation of new jobs in this sector. It also entrenches the position of the Western Cape as a leading green tech region.”

Highlights of the 2019 MIRs

Notable investment opportunities highlighted in the 2019 MIRs include:

  • Utility scale renewable energy: The latest Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018 allocations indicate 8 100MW for wind, 5 670MW solar photovoltaic (PV) and 2 400MW of small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) to be procured by 2030, which has the potential of attracting in excess of R200 billion in the next 12 years. With a growing energy market and an increase in the number of IPPs, a secondary market for refinancing and equity buyouts has emerged. Read more in the 2019 utility scale renewable energy MIR.
  • Energy services: The South African energy services market holds lucrative opportunities for equipment suppliers, project developers, technical advisors and financial investors. By 2035, the South African energy storage (battery) market is expected to reach R15-R30 billion, the energy efficiency market R21 billion, and the rooftop PV market R75 billion per year. Read more in the 2019 energy services MIR.
  • Electric vehicles: Global sales of electric vehicles (EVs) are projected to reach five million in 2019, up from one million in 2015. For South Africa, a thriving EV market supported by local manufacturing holds the promise of economic growth and job creation, also countering the inevitable eventual decline in demand of ICE vehicles globally. Read more about the emerging opportunities in South Africa’s nascent EV market in the 2019 electric vehicles MIR.
  • Water: The 2019 water MIR draws on market trends observed during the drought to highlight emerging longer-term investment opportunities linked to water scarcity in South Africa. The report focuses on insights relating to the four key urban water markets: Commercial and industrial businesses, households, new property developments and municipalities.
  • Waste: In 2016 the waste economy contributed R24,3 billion to the South African GDP and provided 36 000 formal jobs and 80 000 informal jobs/livelihoods. A further R11,5 billion per year could be unlocked by 2023 by diverting up to 20 million tons of waste from landfills. The anticipated spin-offs could include 45 000 additional formal jobs and 82 000 indirect jobs, as well create of 4 300 SMMEs. Opportunities within the organic, e-waste, plastics and builders’ rubble sectors have the potential to unlock R1,2 billion in value. However, to unlock this value, stakeholders must be involved and technologies implemented. Read more about the variety of opportunities that exist in the 2019 waste MIR.
  • Sustainable agriculture: When taking into account the whole agricultural value chain, the sector is estimated to contribute about 12% to the national GDP. There are emerging investment opportunities in remote sensing technologies for precision agriculture applications (driven specifically to improve water efficiency and climate adaption); undercover farming (UF), which includes low-tech infrastructure such as shade netting and higher-tech controlled environment agriculture systems; and well-established investment opportunities in renewable energy (RE) and conservation agriculture. Read more in the 2019 sustainable agriculture MIR.

Close relationships yield valuable reports

“Through close working relationships with businesses, investors, government, and academia, GreenCape’s sector desks are in a unique position to collect, create, and disseminate free market intelligence on the green economy,” says Mike Mulcahy, GreenCape’s CEO. “What makes these reports unique and valuable to investors, is the fact that the authors of the reports work at the frontier of the green economy, climate change adaptation and sustainable development,” he added. – Press release