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.

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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.

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SOLTRAIN convened a stakeholder workshop on the 7 of March in order to inform all relevant stakeholders about the SOLTRAIN 2 project and to discuss the possibilities of a close co-operation with already existing initiatives, programmes and projects in South and Southern Africa.

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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.

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