Since the energy crisis of 2007–2008, investor interest in the South African energy sector has been on the rise. This has drawn more attention to the importance of energy in the South Africa–EU relationship.
The introduction of the South African National Energy Act in 2008 as well as the launch of several national initiatives and calls for proposals from independent power producers (IPPs) have placed emphasis on the South African energy sector and created awareness of its strategic role in contributing towards sustainable development. As tsunamis, blizzards and other natural disasters are having a greater effect on our inter-connected world, so the past decade has witnessed a significant shift in the global energy discourse towards the issue of climate change, encouraging clean energy investments and the fulfilment of relevant international obligations. This in turn has led to the development of regional networks of energy production and supply, as well as small-scale energy production initiatives. However, despite energy being recognised as one of the eight strategic clusters comprising the Africa–EU Joint Strategy, it has not been specifically discussed within the context of South Africa’s own energy needs.