South Africa’s energy crisis is seriously impeding business continuity across the country inhibiting the forward momentum needed to successfully sustain economic activity. The alarming level of power outages are disrupting operations and prevent companies from reaching their production targets.
According to the SAPOA survey, which measured the impact of loadshedding in the real estate industry, most respondents reported that loadshedding has in some or other way had a serious impact on their businesses.
It has also drastically increased operational costs with the need to invest in alternative power sources, solar panels, UPS systems, or diesel generator to maintain standard operating levels.
Discovery Green Connects Business to Affordable Energy Solutions Discovery has effectively found a way to assist businesses in finding affordable solutions to this problem. Yesterday, the company launched Discovery Green, a renewable energy platform that connects businesses across South Africa to affordable, renewable power generated by utility-scale renewable plants.
The Discovery Green renewable energy platform will operate through a process called “wheeling”. Energy is generated at the most efficient locations in the country and “wheeled” to a business through the existing national grid, allowing businesses to run on more affordable, renewable energy.
Virtual wheeling is a process by which energy transactions occur on paper or electronically, allowing electricity buyers and sellers the freedom to exchange energy without physically moving it across transmission or distribution lines. This is primarily achieved through contracts, trading platforms, and grid management systems.
Renewable Energy Platform for Businesses Discovery has procured between 400MW and 1GW of wind and solar energy from a curated list of leading local and international independent Power Producers. The platform will stimulate an investment of approximately R20-R25bn in the energy infrastructure of the country (enough to establish 2700 rugby fields of solar farms or 200-250 wind turbines).
Energy Saving Potential This investment in 1GW renewable energy generation translates to the saving of 2.75 million tonnes of CO2 per annum which is the equivalent of 100 times the emissions of a business the size of Discovery Limited (JO: DSBPp ).
At this initial phase, the platform is open to assist businesses who are medium to large consumers of electricity connected to Eskom distribution. The first businesses enrolled to the service include a network of large Discovery corporate partners, and over time the platform will expand to other clients in South Africa as Virtual Wheeling and new wheeling frameworks become available through municipalities.
In its initial phase, the platform will be open to businesses who are medium to large consumers of electricity connected to Eskom distribution.
The first businesses enrolled to the service include a network of large Discovery corporate partners, and over time the platform will expand to other clients in South Africa as Virtual Wheeling and new wheeling frameworks through municipalities become available.
Discovery Green will provide enrolled businesses with renewable energy in 2026, enabling them to significantly reduce their emissions whilst addressing the national shortfall in electricity.
Andre Nepgen, Head of Discovery Green commented:
“Discovery Green was built with our goal of being carbon neutral by 2025 in mind. It addresses a fundamental issue of renewable energy – that energy is only generated when the sun shines or the wind blows, yet businesses consume based on their individual needs. With the benefit of aggregation, modelling and diversification, Discovery Green is able to offer products that are completely different to the market’s share-of-plant approach.”
For most non-industrial or mining businesses, the primary source of emissions is from electricity generation – on average, electricity accounts for 80% of Scope 1&2 emissions combined.
While businesses are setting emission reduction goals as part of their ESG strategies, achieving a reduction in emissions is challenging because onsite generation such as rooftop solar have minimal gains.
Developed in Partnership with RMB Discovery’s Virtual Wheeling platform was developed with the support of RMB, Discovery’s investment banking partner who has funded over R30bn in renewable energy projects in Africa to date.
RMB’s team of industry experts will apply their extensive experience and oversight to help minimise risk associated with all aspects of plant development, funding, construction and ongoing management. You can discover more about Discovery Green and the criteria for eligibility.
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