Renewable Energy Program – Round 5 Set to Open in November 2018

  • South Africa’s Energy, Mr. Jeff Radebe announced this morning that Round 5 of the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Program (REIPPP) will be launched in November 2018.
  • The launched will be with revised conditions to encourage local participation and ownership.
  • The move is expected to see the emergence of more black independent power producers.

The Energy Ministers announcement on Round 5 comes as a teaser to country’s new Integrated Resource Plan which is due to be announced in August 2018. The announcement also re-affirms the country’s committed to the REIPP Program which follows the recent signing off of 27 renewable energy projects which were held in limbo by the previous Zuma led government.

According to the Energy Minister, Round 5 is expected to inject around R40-50 Billion into the South African Economy. It will come with revised conditions, which includes black ownership in the value chain plus black-owned Independent Power Producers.

The move comes on the back of recently formed lobby groups like the Black Energy Professionals Association (BEPA) who lament the fact that blacks have been excluded in the awarding of previous Power Purchase Agreements. They call for the structural inequalities that exist for black people to access capital and land for renewable energy projects to be urgently addressed. Their voice has clearly been heard.

Minister Radebe further announced that the socio-economic and enterprise development spend on the IPP Program will be directed to communities where the projects are located. This may be a hint that we will also see projects more geographically spread around the country.

The minister announced that coal is still in the mix with two new pipeline projects expected to come online in 2022/23. The two projects will have a combined capacity of 864 Megawatts. Nuclear power did not get as much as a peep.

More details regarding technology capacity allocation will be made known in August 2018 when the New Integrated Resource plan is announced. The latest announcement by the Minister restores much-sought investor confidence in the renewable energy sector in South Africa.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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