Johannesburg – City Power Johannesburg this week announced that it will collaborate with China to solve the energy crisis facing the city.
City Power is wholly owned by the City of Johannesburg, and it operates in a highly regulated environment.
“Collaborating with Chinese manufacturers will help establish local production facilities for renewable energy equipment, such as solar panels and wind turbines,” explained City Power CEO Tshifularo Mashava, which is wholly owned by the City of Johannesburg, and operates in a highly regulated environment.
Mashava said such facilities can contribute to job creation and the development of a local supply chain, reducing costs and boosting the City’s renewable energy industry.
Mashava was speaking at the China-South Africa New Energy Investment and Cooperation Conference on Tuesday, (13 June 2023).
The China-South Africa New Energy Investment and Cooperation Conference was attended by representatives of the government of China led by Ambassador Chen Xiaodong, representatives of the South African government led by Minister of Electricity Dr. Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, and Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan.
South Africa’s Ambassador to China Dr. Siyabonga Cwele attended virtually.
Mashava said with Johannesburg continuing to be the economic powerhouse of South Africa and the African continent, City Power has the responsibility to provide the energy needs to allow for the city to grow and remain successful.
“We are a major financial and business centre, hosting numerous local and international corporations, banks, and stock exchanges, a significant amount of which is situated right here where we are – the richest square mile in Africa,” Mashava said.
“Our vibrant economy provides employment and investment opportunities, making it a preferred destination for professionals and entrepreneurs.”
China has significantly advanced in renewable energy technologies, including solar power, wind energy, and energy storage.
Mashava said Johannesburg can benefit from collaborations and partnerships with Chinese companies to access and adopt these technologies.
“Through technology transfer, the city can enhance its renewable energy infrastructure, improve energy efficiency, and reduce its carbon footprint,” the City Power CEO said.
China has been a significant investor in green energy projects globally, and Mashava said the City of Johannesburg was an attractive destination for investment in renewable energy initiatives.
Mashava noted that Chinese financing can go a long way to provide the necessary capital for developing green infrastructure, creating jobs, stimulating economic growth, and enhancing the City’s sustainability.
“In addition, Johannesburg can leverage China’s manufacturing capabilities in the green energy sector,” said Mashava.
“Collaborating with Chinese manufacturers can help establish local production facilities for renewable energy equipment, such as solar panels and wind turbines.
“This can contribute to job creation and the development of a local supply chain, reducing costs and boosting the City’s renewable energy industry.”
Mashava said China’s experience developing and implementing green energy policies and practices can provide valuable insights for the City of Johannesburg.
“Through knowledge-sharing initiatives, training programmes, and the exchange of best practices, the City can benefit from China’s expertise in renewable energy planning, energy efficiency, and sustainable urban development,”‘ Mashava said.
“It has invested heavily in research and development (R&D) related to green energy.”
Mashava said by fostering partnerships with Chinese research institutions and universities, Johannesburg can engage in joint R&D projects to advance innovation in renewable energy and develop tailored solutions to address the City’s specific sustainability challenges.
“The City of Johannesburg has, over the years, done a lot of work around our Energy Plans,” said Mashava.
“City Power is exploring sources of alternative energy mix (AEM) strategy in order to catapult the entity into a new era of inventiveness and sustainability, and this paves the way for the City of Johannesburg to be a world-class African city.
“More specifically, the AEM will enable City Power as a company to meet our own ambitions.”
Mashava said the intention was to increase profitability, reduce dependence on Eskom, retain customers, and realise sustainability for us over 15 years.
The envisaged developments include the onboarding of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) – both short and long-term, the Installation of Rooftop Solar Systems, Ripple Relay, and Load Limiting Systems.
In addition the Investment in Energy Efficiency and Energy Management Systems, Solar High Mast and geysers, and the recommissioning of Open Cycle Gas Turbines.
In a move to lessen the impact of load-shedding in Johannesburg, City Power has put in motion various projects.
These include the implementation of engagement with IPPs and STPPPs, the installation of rooftop PV systems, ripple relay systems, investment in energy efficiency, and the energy management system.
Other initiatives include, the initiation of smart metres load limiting, improvements in DSM customer communication, recommissioning of open cycle gas turbines, deployment of solar mast high and additional streetlights, development of microgrid systems, and the establishment of vehicle charging stations.
“It is important to note that leveraging China’s dominance in the green energy economy requires careful consideration of local needs, priorities, and environmental regulations,” said the City Power CEO.
“We look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship that enables the ecosystem of solutions that the City of Johannesburg is exploring to ensure that service delivery is maintained and elevated.”