Shell Renewables and Eskom, South Africa’s national electricity supplier, have been presented with an award at the climate change negotiations in the Hague, the Netherlands for their work in setting up the world’s largest solar rural electrification project.
The Climate Technology Initiative (CTI) award is being presented to the Eskom-Shell joint venture in recognition of its achievements in “accelerating the deployment and diffusion of climate-friendly technologies in the developing world”. CTI is an organisation of 232 countries and the European Commission. Its mission is to support the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in its efforts to achieve stabilisation of atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. Philippe de Renzy-Martin, Chief Operating Officer of Shell Solar, said: “Over two billion people in the world don’t have access to electricity. It’s a potentially large but hugely challenging market, and one where close work between government, non-government and private organisations is key to establishing successful, sustainable, ventures. The South Africa project is significant in bringing electricity to people living in rural areas of the Eastern Cape and in developing a business model that could be used in other countries. Customers have access to a safe, reliable, clean and affordable electricity supply and, at the same time a local infrastructure is put in place to provide customer support, employment and a commercial operation for the long term.” When completed, the project will bring solar electricity to 50,000 homes in rural areas of the Eastern Cape. To date the joint venture has installed 6,000 Powerhouse solar home systems, bringing electricity to an estimated 30,000 people in the area. Shell Renewables has also established businesses to supply renewable energy to rural markets in India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.