One of the world’s biggest solar technology companies is closing its Cape Town factory due to what it terms the government’s lack of commitment to green energy. German manufacturer SMA Solar Technology has also taken a swipe at Eskom for “shocking statements” about the independent power producer programme, which has effectively been shelved by Eskom chief executive officer, Brian Molefe.
“SMA and its shareholders fail to see a commitment from the South African government to create a sustainable business environment and promote foreign direct investment,” said Thorsten Ronge, general manager of SMA’s sub-Sahara division.
Responding to The Times’ queries on Thursday, SMA said it would transfer its South African production to Germany and China “in order to increase the utilisation of the existing plants”.
The factory closure is a major blow to various local initiatives to promote green energy, particularly in the Western Cape, which is setting up a green technology special economic zone.
Source: Times Live
Caption: The 1.2MW Black River Park solar panels in Observatory, which feed power into Cape Town's electricity grid.
Image by: HETTY ZANTMAN