With energy being the biggest consumer of water, Minister Radebe says the devastating impact of the current drought, specifically in the Western and Northern Cape provinces, over the last few years has highlighted the impact of climate change and water security.
Underpinned the ongoing build-out of solar and wind were "substantial" cost reductions, Irena noted, with the levellised cost of electricity from PV cratering by 73% and onshore wind by almost 25% between 2010 and 2017, taking both technologies "well within the cost range of power generated by fossil fuels". For every kilowatt-hour of electricity used by Google, it purchases a kilowatt-hour of clean energy.
On the other hand, renewable energy contributes only for 7.7% of total power generated as Coal still remains the main source of electricity in the country.
This does not mean Google's facilities all run on 100% renewable energy.
The Plan addresses how the IPA will implement a variety of programs and procurements to meet its obligations to purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), such as the Illinois Solar for All Program, created to provide a solar market for low-income households and communities. At three gigawatts (3GW), it has more contracts to purchase renewable energy than any other corporate purchaser, with these deals leading to over $3 billion in new capital investment.
"Despite this clear evidence of strength in the power generation sector, a complete energy transformation goes beyond electricity to include the end-use sectors of heating, cooling and transportation, where there is substantial opportunity for growth of renewables", Amin added.
"Indications are that prices will continue to decrease in future rounds as demonstrated by the recent Solar PV and Wind prices elsewhere in the world". It will take a combination of technology, policy and new deal structures to get there, but we're excited for the challenge.