Press Releases

    For information only - not an official document

    8 October 2015

    Re-issued as received

    New report highlights renewable energy and energy efficiency growth in Southern African Development Community

    VIENNA/CAPE TOWN, 7 October (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) - The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region of 15 countries, with approximately 23.5 per cent of energy generated from renewables, is becoming a key player in the international trend towards developing renewable energy resources and energy efficiency, according to a new report.

    Launched this week during the South African International Renewable Energy Conference in Cape Town, the report was prepared by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in collaboration with the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21stCentury (REN21).

    It draws on the most up-to-date information from national and regional sources, and presents a comprehensive overview of the status of markets, industry, policy and regulatory frameworks, and investment activities regarding renewable energy and energy efficiency in the region.

    The report highlights the huge untapped renewable energy potential in the region. For example, in the area of solar power, although South Africa has been leading the way in solar development, and Botswana, Malawi, Namibia and Tanzania are developing large-scale solar PV projects, the full capacity has not yet been explored. Similarly, the SADC countries are rich in wind power, hydro and biomass resource, most of which have not been fully reaped.

    The report also says that as interest in Africa and in renewable energy increases, attracting investment is becoming easier. Six of the SADC member states, namely Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe are considered attractive to investors, with South Africa being the most attractive, bringing in investment worth USD 5.5 billion in 2014 alone.

    Speaking at the conference, Pradeep Monga, Director of UNIDO's Energy Branch, emphasized UNIDO's focus on inclusive and sustainable industrial development, which is featured in Sustainable Development Goal 9, adding that there is a need to have an integrated approach to sustainable energy solutions in order to simultaneously address issues of ecosystems, human health, climate change, as well as air and water quality.

    During the conference, UNIDO also organized several side events on such themes as industrial biogas, small hydropower and regional cooperation in promoting market-based uptake of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies and services.

    SADC countries aim to increase renewable energy contribution to electricity supply to 27 per cent in 2020 and 29 per cent in 2030. To this end, with technical assistance from UNIDO and financial support from the Government of Austria, a SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) will soon be established in Namibia.

    The four-day event in Cape Town was attended by around 3,600 representatives from government agencies, the private sector and the civil society from over 80 countries.


    Download the full report here

    * *** *

    For more information, please contact:

    Alois Mhlanga
    Industrial Development Officer, UNIDO
    Email: a.mhlanga[at]