A new start for co-operation with the Republic of South Africa

28 July 2011

Photo: © Eskom. From left to right: Director-General of the South African Department of Energy, Ms Nelisiwe Magubane; South Africa’s Minister of Energy, Ms Dipuo Peters; and IEA Executive Director, Mr Nobuo Tanaka.

The International Energy Agency’s Executive Director, Nobuo Tanaka, and the Republic of South Africa’s Minister of Energy, Dipuo Peters, have agreed to co-operate more closely on key energy issues. To this end, they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

“This MoU brings another emerging economy of the G20 closer to the IEA,” said Nobuo Tanaka at a press conference in Johannesburg on 4 July 2011.

Both sides agreed to step up co-operation in the field of energy in areas such as renewable energy, data collection and analysis, training and capacity building, carbon capture and storage, and energy technology.

“On a global scale, we can be sure that no matter which challenge we are facing, we have to tackle it co-operatively,” said Mr Tanaka. “We are here today to engage in a symbolic act of signing an MoU with South Africa, to mark the start of an engagement that will enable us to do just that.”

As well as praising the prospect of enhanced co-operation between the IEA and the South African government, Mr Tanaka also stressed the advantages of co-operation with other neighbouring countries.

“In the case of South Africa and its neighbours, we encourage you to enhance regional co-operation to best exploit your collective electricity resources, an effort that will pay back in terms of cost and lower carbon dioxide emissions globally,” he said.

This signing marked the opening of a three-day bilateral event organised in co-operation with the South African Department of Energy and Eskom. The first day focused on energy efficiency – a way of managing and restraining the growth in energy consumption. The IEA also launched a new report – Saving Electricity in a Hurry – which highlights the best ways to respond to major electricity shortfalls.

The following two days were designed to provide new perspectives on current energy issues in South Africa. Energy technology roadmaps that identify the technical, policy and financial barriers to accelerating deployment of the most important clean technologies were highlighted, as well as the challenges of technology priority setting.

Speech by Mr. Tanaka on the occasion of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on 4 July 2011.