South Africa's romance with solar energy

Renewable energy's moment is now. South Africans are suffering from a prolonged energy crisis. Those connected to the grid have ongoing issues around security of supply, whilst millions of South Africans do not have access to electricity.

South Africa is crying out for a clean, locally produced and cost-effective energy solution.

Renewable energy, and especially solar, offers a real solution to these issues, and can add capacity to the grid much faster than new coal or nuclear projects.

South African companies need to help drive the creation of a thriving market for renewable energy. They need to show Solar some love and commit to a 100% renewable energy future.

Greenpeace is calling on South Africa's most loved supermarkets (Woolworths, Pick n Pay, Spar, Shoprite, Massmart) to take the lead and show the country some love by
committing to 100% renewable energy!

Love, to bring back the light

South African supermarkets can become a game changer for renewable energy and their love can bring back the light.

We interact with our retail stores on a daily basis, and the retail sector represent a big part of South Africa's energy consumption. What if this pressure could be taken off the current grid, what if they all shifted to 100% renewable energy?

Answer: almost 180,000 households could be powered annually. And for the supermarkets, shifting to 100% renewable energy would mean long term electricity costs saving.

Here's to a powerful win-win love story!

If supermarkets switch to 100% renewable energy, it will allow more energy for South African households and pave the way for a solar future for all.

Supermarkets & Solar Love Ranking Guide

UPDATE: since the launch of the Renewable Energy Champions project in April (read the first report here), Woolworths is still in the lead with an improved score of six out of ten. Massmart is close behind Woolworths with a score of five and a half. Pick n Pay has also shown a significant improvement and is now engaging with Greenpeace on how they can increase their commitments to renewable energy in the future.

Spar and Shoprite are at the bottom of the table with Shoprite scoring the lowest of all five. Spar’s score has stayed the same as they have not made any progress in the renewable energy sector in 2016. Shoprite continues to have the lowest score of three out of ten due to a lack of publicly available information, lack of transparency and unwillingness to engage with Greenpeace on these issues.

Solar and renewable energy will help us build a happy, cleaner and better future for South Africa.

How to rekindle the flame?

First of all, our beloved supermarkets have to commit to a 100% renewable energy target, and develop a short and long term plan showing how they will achieve this. Not only words, concrete actions!

To make a lasting relationship work, honesty and transparency about their previous engagement with fossil fuels is also key. Let's put everything on the table, and move forward to a sustainable future.

And finally bring the passion in! Supermarkets should become real advocates for renewable energy in South Africa. Only by publicly showing their love will they be in a position to enable supportive policies, and thus remove the remaining barriers to a wonderful love story.

Let's move this love story to 2017, and share the joy for a 100% renewable energy future.

What we have achieved so far

Since the launch of the campaign in April, some supermarkets have fell in love with the sun, while others kept on their dirty affair with coal.

After the launch of the campaign, we hosted a panel discussion during which, Woolworths reaffirmed their commitment to 100% Renewable Energy by 2030.
Pick n Pay was still reluctant to start a conversation and it became apparent that they would need more love to make the commitment to 100% Renewable Energy. Our supporters helped us sending Pick n Pay’s CEO a love letter.
On the 28th of July Greenpeace Africa delivered a 3meter high engagement ring to the head office with the message “Pick n Pay say yes to the sun”. Shortly after, Pick n Pay issued a statement in which the retailer agreed that “renewable energy is a priority”.
In August, three supermarkets agreed to commit to lobby for renewable energy.

And now… Shoprite is the last one who still refuses to engage with us. We went to their AGM in October but they turned us down. We are still keeping the pressure, and you can too by asking them to commit to 100% renewable energy.

Join us now to ask your favorite supermarket to warm up to the sun and embrace the #SolarRomance.

Get involved!

Here are a few ways you can share the news of this new romance and make it grow:

Supermarkets, show South Africans you really care, give solar energy some love!
Commit to 100% renewable energy today!

Give love to renewable energy!

Become part of the growing #SolarRomance movement and help us shout our message to supermarkets: renewable energy is a vital part of a cleaner, brighter future for South Africa!