Picture: 123RF/VACLAW VOLRAB
Picture: 123RF/VACLAW VOLRAB

Government’s programme for the procurement of renewable energy for state buildings and facilities got off the ground on Monday as pressure mounts on countries to move faster to combat climate change.

Public works and infrastructure minister Patricia De Lille announced that the private sector can now formally submit details regarding their capabilities to be part of the Integrated Renewable Energy and Resource Efficiency Programme (iREREP), which will be the biggest project for the procurement of renewable energy and resource efficiency for public facilities.

The programme is a key part of the government’s attempts to reduce CO2 emissions as required by the Paris Agreement, which set global climate change targets in 2015. The agreement also sought to intensify actions and investments needed by countries and stakeholders for a sustainable, low-carbon future.

The iREREP has been registered by the Treasury to be implemented as a public-private partnership in collaboration with the private sector on “a full design, finance, build, operate, transfer basis”.

De Lille said her department, as the largest landlord and facilities manager in the country, has a responsibility to not only manage infrastructure but to combat climate change and drive sustainable development.

There is growing evidence of climate change and the threat it poses humankind, including freshwater shortages, climate instability and famine.

“With SA grappling with load-shedding, water shortages and accelerated effects of climate change, all of which have far reaching consequences on society, our response as government to these challenges must be citizen-centric, focusing on the wellbeing of our people, protecting the environment, improving citizens’ lives and addressing the injustices of our past,” De Lille said.

She said the request for information for the iREREP is aimed at testing the market - across renewable energy, energy efficiency, water efficiency and alternative waste management-for additional ideas and information which promote resource efficiency.

“It is a unique opportunity to bring greater innovation and resource efficiency into our government buildings that not only seeks to mitigate against climate change but achieves significant financial savings that can be diverted to other government priorities,” De Lille said.

The department’s properties consume about 4,021GW/h of electricity and 39-million kilo litres of water, which translates to an average annual expenditure on electricity and water of R2.4bn and R1.8bn, respectively.

The aim is to reduce energy intensity by 22%-45%; water usage by 30%-55%; and waste to landfill by 50%.

De Lille said that the projected savings over 30 years would amount to more than R400bn.

“Through this [request for information] process, the department will be able to gain additional market insights that will drive the implementation of the programme, as well as provide an understanding of the appetite and readiness of the market to participate in this programme,” the minister said.

All responses must be submitted electronically to RFP@gtac.gov.za; and tenders@irerep.co.za on or before October 20.

phakathib@businesslive.co.za

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