BKCOB welcomes delegates from City of Oldenburg
The Border-Kei Chamber of Business welcomed a delegation from twin city of Buffalo City Municipality, the City of Oldenburg in Lower Saxony, Germany.
Roland Hentschel who is the Head of International Relations and also the Chief Executive Officer of the Oldenburg Energy Cluster, presented to the BKCOB Energy Forum on the Renewable Energy Sector inn Germany, one of the most important, growing sectors in Germany.
Hentschel presented on one of the Cluster’s projects, being a Baseline Study of Renewable Energy in the North West of Germany. Some interesting points that came out of the study, which can be consulted online (available in May on www.energiecluster.de) include:
More than 40,000 renewable energy plants installed with a capacity of 4.4 gigawatt electric power.
More than 80 percent of electricity consumption already covered by renewable energy sources (large scale industries excluded).
The region employs more than 36,000 people and thus combines more than 5 percent of regional employment in total.
The four main focus areas of the visit were:
Climate Change partnership;
There were very positive discussions that were had and the Border-Kei Chamber of Business hopes to see some progressive projects coming out of these discussions.
Chairperson - Chris Ettmayr, East London Industrial Development Zone
“The Border-Kei Chamber of Business (BKCOB) has a newly created forum which deals with all matters revolving around energy. This includes both the generation of energy by Independent Power Producers (IPPs) as well as the industrial and manufacturing side of this sector. The Energy Forum has established itself as a voice piece for business and the community which will be able to channel its thoughts and intentions through the forum to reach municipalities, government entities (such as Eskom), Provincial and National Government. The forum has presented comments on energy matters such as Fracking in the Karoo and it has the people, the environment and business at the heart of all its efforts.
This forum is not only a lobby group but it also actively seeks to support IPPs in their efforts of gaining access to the list of private entities supplying energy onto the grid. Along with this mandate, the Energy Forum is also involved in the identification of business opportunities within this new sector and these range from manufacturing of components, provision of skills and training as well as assisting in developing knowledge for research and development in the industry. There are some key projects that the forum is embarking including the “green school” initiative which, if successful, will be rolled out to the schools within the Province and possibly broader.
The Energy Forum works together with a similar forum which has been established in Port Elizabeth and together they support and would like to see the Province taking up the challenge of establishing this new industry to ensure that energy security improves as well as employment opportunity at the same time. The BKCOB Energy Forum will assist the Renewable Energy sector by all means to ensure that the Border-Kei region becomes a meaningful player in this rapidly growing industry.”