South Africa scored 1.92 to rank third in Climatescope 2014, and first among African countries. The country’s clean energy sector has been transformed recently: in the last two years it has made it into the top 10 globally for clean energy investment and accounted for almost 90% of investment in sub-Saharan Africa during this period.
Indeed, it was second-best globally on Clean Energy Investment, Parameter II, its highest ranking.
The country also scored well on Clean Energy Value Chains, Parameter III, taking third place overall. The manufacturing sector is expanding partly due to local content requirements.
Solar accounts for the largest share of clean energy investment to date, a total of $6.7bn out of $9.4bn since 2006. This is being driven by the push to install solar thermal projects.
South Africa’s renewable energy sector was kick-started by the government’s reverse auction program in 2012. Nevertheless, it ranked a relatively poor 36th on Enabling Framework Parameter I, by far its worst performance on any parameter, reflecting certain unfavorable aspects of the market (but not its clean energy policy).
South Africa’s generation fleet is dominated by coal-fired power plants: in 2013, they generated more than 90% of the nations’ electricity.
Renewable energy is only a small part of the current energy mix, but this looks set to change over the coming years as the country’s large renewable energy build-out program progresses.