Renewable energy in food value chains

Market intelligence

The food value chain was has been identified as a key focus area for significant impact, in part due to it being the largest manufacturing sector in the Western Cape. Energy was highlighted as key driver of greenhouse gas emissions for agricultural commodities such as fruit, wine and grain.  

Opportunities: Fast facts

  • Solar PV installations on packhouses are worth considering and several companies have already been able to implement them profitably.

  • Financing is key to unlocking the full potential of solar PV on packhouses.

  • The opportunity for financing solutions is currently being unlocked by innovative performance-based contracts to help overcome capital cost constraints, with Energy Service Companies (ESCos) playing a significant role in this space.

  • There is opportunity for industrial-scale solar heating in agri-processing - a key expanding sector in South Africa.

  • Uptake has been demonstrated regionally and nationally: the majority of the Western Cape’s industrial-scale solar heating systems are in the agri-processing sector and are reporting good payback periods through energy cost savings.

GreenCape's work in the space

GreenCape aims to enable the uptake of green technologies and support the growth of the clean technology industry (supply side) through targeted promotion in the agriculture and agri-processing sectors (demand side). This has been driven through the Resource Productivity Project (2015-16).

Our work has focused on the following:

  • Solar PV on packhouses (report & industry brief)

  • Solar thermal in agri-processing (report to be made available after March 2017)

  • Biogas from organic residues and wastes


News and events

Trade and Industry Policies and Strategies Forum 2017

The Annual Trade and Industry Policies and Strategies (TIPS) Forum was held at the Development Bank of South Africa with this year's theme being Industrialisation and sustainable growth. Read more

Dutch expert on biobased value addition to visit Western Cape

Kees Kwant, a Senior Expert on Bioenergy and Biobased Economy at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency ( Read more


Investment opportunities in livestock wastes

GreenCape, with assistance from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, has developed interactive maps indicating the location and abattoir throughput for red meat, poultry and ostriches in the Western Cape. Read more

Joint report on Industrial scale solar heat in South Africa released

Working with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) we have published a technical report on Industrial scale solar heat in South Africa. Read more