The ultimate objective

Striking a balance between the environment and economics

Clean technologies are being commercialised all around South Africa and the continent

The year 2012 is shaping to be a decisive year for commercialisation of clean technology projects deployed throughout South Africa and the African region.

Despite much jostling and positioning by local and international players to become a preferred supplier of renewable energy to Eskom, a late change of terms reference, effectively resulted in reducing power purchase prices and has caused many of the bidders  to go back to the drawing board.

However, this has resulted in a more efficient process of elimination of sub optimal technologies which have been drawn ashore to African coasts, as surplus from developed markets, which themselves are seeking newer technologies and solutions.

It is already evident that certain projects may lack the flexibility to incorporate newer technologies cost effectively, and thus assume greater price efficiencies in generating electricity.  

It would be challenging to predict the future regarding the greater usage of alternative or renewable energies, catapulting them out of their relative obscurity. For this to happen the cost of technologies would have to continue to go down, and reliability to go up. 

In a country and region where climatic conditions can and will dictate the wealth of a nation - and by extension the individual level of disposable income - much cognizance needs to be given to clean technologies, that by virtue of their introduction can resolve or alleviate not only environmental priorities, but also enhance economic well being of communities.

Striking the balance between environmental and economic well being has a particular and profound meaning in the African context. Delivering the provision of water, electricity to economically marginal communities throughout the continent in efficient manner, coupled with extending the continent’s drive to beneficiate its natural resources – mining/mineral industry with reduced impact on the environment is the ultimate objective.

Thus innovative technologies that can answer for the said challenges would prove commercially rewarding for entrepreneurs seeking their deployment in manufacturing sectors and region of human habitation where need is the greatest.

The Viridis Africa clean technology investment summit is an event is designed to bring about innovators, inventors, technology partners, academia, project promoters, investors, and government agencies to investigate, evaluate, and elucidate commercial opportunities relating to clean technologies, being appropriate environmentally sustainable and commercially sound, so they may address human and environmental needs not as mutually exclusive objectives but rather complimenting each other. 

The Viridis Africa event will introduce amongst its distinguished list of speakers. Representatives of  leading investment and financial institutes include:

Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC);

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC);

The National Empowerment Fund ( NEF);

The Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA);

The Technology Innovation Agency ( TIA);

The US Trade and Development Agency and

The World Bank;

and private equity firms Lerako Metier Sustainable Capital and Osmosis Investment Management, venture capitalist and other project financiers, seeking investments into clean technologies initiatives, the size and scope of which would be widely  ranging.

Inventors seeking to commercialise their inventions via establishing a startup vehicle, consulting engineering companies, project promoters, international /multinational consortia, all will find fertile ground of interacting with the appropriate type of funder and or partner most suitable for their initiative.

The organisers of this event are inviting any party who has a project/initiative/technology solution within the ambit of the clean tech sector to consider introducing it at the event. Business plan submissions should be forwarded to

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Issue 39