2011 will be remembered as a year of revolution!
Events in North Africa remind us that no matter how powerless
we may feel, when we stand together, there's no limit to what we can achieve.
This is also the year that South Africa hosts the 17th United Nations Conference on Climate Change (Conference of
the Parties - COP17). Representatives from 190 countries will be here discussing
global emissions targets, while the eyes of the world, most especially the youth, look to us to show that we are taking
collective action to address access to electricity and increased clean energy provision.
The challenges presented by climate change are complex and daunting, and it will require collective effort, intent and
action to ensure we can respond to the best of our ability.
South Africa is listed as the 13th highest emitter of CO2 in the world due to our hefty reliance on coal which makes
up 92% of fuel used for electricity generation. We also have a great many households still without electricity and a
large number of people are unemployed. Our country's (draft) 20 year electricity plan is overly conservative in targets
for renewable energy, at approximately 15% by 2030 and greatly underestimates what can be done through energy-
The good news is that we are also one of the world's sunniest countries. There's a reason we call ourselves 'Sunny
South Africa'! We are presented with an incredible opportunity. Through investments in renewable energy
technologies, large-scale energy-efficiency initiatives and other bright 'out-of-the-box' ways of doing things, South
Africa can meet the electricity demand of a growing economy; provide electricity to all households; create
thousands of decent jobs AND simultaneously reduce emissions.
As part of making this vision a reality, we are calling for a SOLAR REVOLUTION! We see South Africa as a leader in the
various solar industries, resulting in sustainable job creation, local economic development and the export of skills and
products. We have calculated that through solar water heating alone, we can do away with the demand for proposed
coal-powered station Kusile.
Sign up for the campaign, not only calling on government to do more, but to signal your commitment to act where you
can . In addition to your support for our work, we ask for your pledge to either install your own solar system (whether
that be a solar water heater, solar oven or solar panels), and to use your sphere of influence to encourage at least one
other person or organisation to contribute to an environment that makes use of our abundant solar wealth. Then help
us develop the campaign by sending your stories of actions taken, solar targets set and successful installations.
Speak to your family, friends, colleagues, organisational leaders and be the example... Let's begin the Solar