German Embassy Pretoria is going solar

Jun 23, 2017

The German Embassy in South Africa is going solar!  A total of 98 solar panels have been installed on the roof of the embassy building in Pretoria. Every month, the panels will generate around 4823 kWh.

Sunrise over the German Embassy Pretoria's new solar panels Enlarge image Sunrise over the German Embassy Pretoria's new solar panels (© German Embassy Pretoria) This can cover around a fifth of the embassy’s electricity usage. By comparison, with the 4823 kWh of energy generated by solar energy, embassy employees could brew around 159,000 cups of coffee a month!

Sustainability plays a major role worldwide. For Germany, sustainable development is a central policy objective. Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed her delight that sustainability has become an established part of public discussion and debate. 

Speaking at the annual meeting of the German Council for Sustainable Development in May, Merkel said that the "pretty ambitious" 2030 Agenda required that all of us are ready and able to make changes. "How we manufacture and work, what we transport and how we transport it, how we ourselves get from A to B, how we live and consume – the principle of sustainability demands that we rethink all of these, and that we change the way we act," said Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"German expertise and credibility in the field of sustainability attract great interest worldwide," says Angela Merkel Enlarge image "German expertise and credibility in the field of sustainability attract great interest worldwide," says Angela Merkel (© Bundesregierung/Steins ) The major challenges facing the world do not stop at national borders, she pointed out. It is up to every one of us to do our bit. "If we leave it up to others to act, we will have to accept that things might change in a way that is not compatible with our values or our interests", the Chancellor said.

The share of renewable energies is growing all over the world: About a quarter of the world's electricity is generated by renewable energy sources.

Germany’s electricity supply is becoming "greener" every year, as the contribution made by renewable sources is constantly growing. In 2016, renewable energy already covered roughly one third of gross electricity generation. By 2025, 40 to 45 percent of electricity consumed in Germany is to be derived from renewables.

The South African solar market is ready to take off. The sun shines on the South African soil for 8,7 hours almost every day. The coastline covers an area of nearly 3000 kilometres. The basic requirements for renewable energies could hardly be better in South Africa. By 2030, the country aims to increase renewable capacity to 17.8 gigawatts.

German solar projects in South Africa

In the past years, Germany has supported several projects on sustainability and solar energy in Southern Africa.

Rooftop concentrating solar cooling system at MTN in Johannesburg Enlarge image Rooftop concentrating solar cooling system at MTN in Johannesburg (© MTN) South African Energy Partnership

With the association of „South African – German Cooperation in the Area of Energy and Climate“ in 2013, both partnerships „South African – German Cooperation in the Area of Energy and Climate“ from 2011 and the „South African Renewables Initiative (SARI)“ were combined. 

In the course of the renewal of the partnership, a solar cooling system was built on the building of the MTN telecommunications company and was the third project to be established within the framework of the South African Energy Partnership.

Further information on the South African Energy Partnership

The Mulilo-Sonnedix-Prieska Solar PV project in Prieska Enlarge image The Mulilo-Sonnedix-Prieska Solar PV project in Prieska (© juwi) Photovoltaic solar park

Furthermore, the German company Juwi implemented its largest project in the Northern Cape province in 2015. The company constructed the "Mulilo Sonnedix Prieska photovoltaic (PV) solar park” for the independent energy producer Sonnedix.

Further information on the Juwi PV solar park in Prieska

South African Renewable Energy Technology Center

The renewable energy training facility in Cape Town Enlarge image The renewable energy training facility in Cape Town (© Saretec) In 2016, the South African Renewable Energy Technology Center (SARETEC) in Cape Town was established with the support of the German Government and GIZ. 

SARETEC is the first training center in South Africa to specialize in renewable energies.

Further information on SARETEC's training courses

© German Embassy Pretoria

Solar energy in Pretoria and beyond

The German Embassy building in Pretoria, South Africa

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