The Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development, Qedani Mahlangu, says there is a need to develop policies that address issues of energy security, social equity and environmental sustainability.
Mahlangu was speaking on the second day of discussions at the Africa Energy Indaba in Sandton on Wednesday.
“We need to move beyond business as usual. The energy ‘trilemma’ is more poignant to developing countries within the African continent than ever before.
“We need to develop energy policies which decisively address the conflicting challenges of energy security, social equity and environmental sustainability. We need a cohesive solution,” she said.
The trilemma is described as the three challenges of energy security, social equity and environmental impact mitigation.
According to the Secretary General of the World Energy Council (WEC) Dr Christopher Frei, eight of the world’s 20 fastest growing countries are in Africa.
“Energy is critical to such development. For energy to be able to play this enabling role, we need robust and balanced energy policy and engaged entrepreneurship. The latest World Energy Trilemma report sets out that developing countries have unique opportunities to develop pathways towards growth,” said Frei.
The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development has launched the Green Agenda in response to the energy trillema. Mahlangu said the agenda lays a strong foundation for the wider greening of the country.
“It is a showcase of government advocating for a sustainable future. This agenda will drive energy efficiency and the use of renewable and clean sources, thus reducing the carbon footprint of government,” she said.
The Green Agenda will initially comprise three programmes: roof-top solar panel roll-out, water and energy retrofit and the transition to natural gas in health care facilities.
Over 500 international delegates have attended Africa Energy Indaba, which kicked off on Tuesday. – SAnews.gov.za