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Companies to submit plans to reduce energy consumption

RENEWABLE The National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa seeks to support companies to improving the capacity of the South African industry to use its natural energy efficiently ahead of looking for renewable energy

South Africa-based companies consuming over 400 TJ of energy a year will be required to submit energy management plans to the Department of Energy (DoE) to demonstrate how they are reducing energy consumption and their carbon emissions footprint if draft legislation is promulgated in its current form, says United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) Efficiency Division senior adviser and implementation specialist Valerie Geen.

The draft legislation for the submission of energy management plans is currently with Energy Minister Jeff Radebe

.

Meanwhile, Phase 2 of the Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) project, which the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) first launched in 2010, seeks to support companies to save energy through energy management and energy systems optimisation that will also prepare them to align with government policy.

The project is implemented by the NCPC-SA and Unido to provide expertise on efficiency management. The two organisations are working in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and DoE. Unido is implementing IEE projects in 13 other countries globally.

Geen says the project aims to support 150 companies that have committed to saving energy and become demonstration sites that can supply data on how much energy they are using and develop energy management plans.

“As a component of the project, the participating companies have to conduct audits of how much energy they are using and for what it is used; the companies also have to identify opportunities to save energy. This can be through behavioural changes and attitude, where the maintenance of their plants or equipment can be improved. The companies can also consider the technology systems that can be put in place to measure and reduce the amount of energy consumed.

She says Phase 2, which started in 2016, builds on lessons learnt from Phase 1 and has greater focus on supporting policy development, capacity development and institutional development to ensure that the benefits of the project are embedded in government, government agencies and industry.

Geen highlights that, in the 2017/18 financial year, R155-million was saved during the implementation of IEE project Phase 2, while 389 industry personnel were trained, 40% of whom were women. In addition, 24 energy management systems experts were trained, the industry saved 219 GWh of power and 202 000 t of carbon emissions were avoided.

“As part of its skills development focus, the project has also developed qualifications for certified energy managers and energy auditors, and intends building the network of energy efficiency technicians.”

She says companies that are intended to be demonstration sites are selected through due diligence as the project seeks to align with industry sectors and industry subsectors prioritised by government.

“The sectors include pulp and paper, automotive, agroprocessing and chemicals, cement and construction, as they have been prioritised by government in terms of energy consumption and economic and industrial development.”

Phase 2 is funded by the Global Environmental Facility and co-financed by the DTI and DoE to the value of R80-million over a five-year period.

“Unido provides oversight and supports the implementation of the project using its organisational expertise while prioritising ‘Sustainable Development Goal 9’ – the United Nations’ goal to address three important aspects of sustainable development: infrastructure, industrialisation and innovation – in pursuit of inclusive industry and innovation in infrastructure, specifically focusing on energy efficiency management.”

The project will end in 2020, and it is modelled on improving the capacity of the South African industry to use its available energy resources more efficiently and productively ahead of looking for other sources of energy.

“Together with supporting partnerships and promoting appropriate financing mechanisms for energy efficiency, the project seeks to ensure the sustainability of its outcomes beyond the life of the project,” Geen concludes.