SOLTRAIN, a regional project on capacity building and demonstration of solar thermal systems in the SADC region, was launched in Lesotho on October 11 at a launch event opened by the Austrian Ambassador, Brigitte Öppinger-Walchshofer, at the Lesotho Sun Hotel in Maseru. SOLTRAIN started in 2009 in South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, is financially supported by the Austrian Development Cooperation.
South Africa has one of the best solar resources in the world, photovoltaic modules are the cheapest they have ever been with the landed price dropping more than 50% in the last year and grid connected systems are now at or very near to grid parity where the cost of electricity produced from privately-owned rooftop PV modules is equal to, or less than, the cost that the consumer would be paying for electricity from the grid.
Four leading renewable energy associations today announced their intention to launch an umbrella body to act as a single voice championing the importance and relevance of the Renewable Energy Industry in South Africa. The announcement comes in the wake of the Green Economy Accord recently concluded through a series of engagements amongst Government, Business, Labour and Community at Nedlac.